11 Aug 2010

ACC to provide more support for sexual abuse victims

10:02 pm on 11 August 2010

The Accident Compensation Corporation says sexual abuse victims will be able to access up to 16 hours with a counsellor.

It follows the introduction of new guidelines last year which required ACC to concentrate only on those who have a diagnosed mental injury.

In June, ACC acknowledged it had moved too quickly to implement the new approach, which resulted in only 15% of claims for sexual abuse counselling being accepted.

ACC's general manager of claims management, Denise Cosgrove, says the extra support follows concerns expressed to the Corporation by the sexual abuse treatment sector, the public and an independent panel which reviewed sensitive claims.

The counselling will be available to those with a new claim before ACC or those awaiting a decision.

Ms Cosgrove says the counselling sessions will be sufficient to meet the needs of many who will not go on to require ACC cover or funded treatment.

She says for others the session will be used to gather information to help ACC make a decision about cover.