10 March 2016

Sexual abuse drives hundreds of kids to ACC

An article from Newshub by Emily Cooper
Families are being told to ask more questions of their children following the release of disturbing new statistics. Newshub can reveal that in the last 12 months, the number of children under the age of 15 seeking ACC services for sexual abuse has reached more than 800.
Maggy Tai Rakena of sexual violence support group START says kids need to be questioned.
"We don't want to jump to conclusions when there's distress showing, because it could just be that the cat died, or grandma's sick or something," says Ms Rakena.
"But it's a prompt to ask more. Children do talk about this stuff."
Ms Rakena says 90 percent of offenders are known to the victim.
"Their loyalties are torn; there can be some nice sides about the relationship, but also if it's your mum or your grandma or your dad or your uncle, and people that your parents love and trust, it's really hard to speak up," she told Newshub.
"The story about 'stranger danger' and the one odd person that drags a kid away from the school gate is so rare, so unusual."
Seventy-two kids under four had sensitive claims through ACC.
Copyright © 2016 MediaWorks TV


03 March 2016

ACC sex abuse claims double in five years

An article from Newshub by Emily Cooper
More sexual abuse and sexual assault victims are reaching out for help under ACC's sensitive claims services.
Figures released to Newshub under the Official Information Act show claims have nearly doubled in the past six years. In 2010, 3674 people lodged a claim compared to 6946 people last year. Those seeking counselling services have also almost doubled.
ACC Minister Nikki Kaye says it's down to changes made around the handling of sensitive claims. "Previously it was hard, it was quite an insensitive process," she says.
Victim advocate Louise Nicholas says the rise is also likely down to more people speaking out against sexual violence and the stigma around people speaking out being lifted.
Over the past three years, ACC has had to re-think the sensitive claims process and worked with survivors of abuse, advocates and therapists to make the process easier. ACC also scrapped the top up fee that victims previously had to pay for counselling services and a new support package was also announced this time last year.
Ms Kaye says $100 million will be spent over the next six years to give people better access to counsellors.

Copyright © 2016 MediaWorks TV