The breach of name suppression of two sex abuse victims by the Ministry of Justice is a mistake that should never have happened and is another example of the National Government’s failure to protect the rights of victims.
Simon Power says he will be asking questions of the officials tomorrow morning to ascertain how this mistake occurred, when really he should be pointing the finger at himself and his Government. The slash and burn cuts that the National Government have continued to make across the public sector, are inevitably going to result in mistakes being made. The funding cuts to resources and jobs across the sector – equate to, additional pressure being placed on those still working there – leaving them stretched beyond the limit. Mistakes are bound to happen in this kind of working environment. The scary thing is there will probably be more made across the public sector, unless the National Government wake up to the fact that you can’t expect high levels of service, when funding and subsequently corners are being cut left right and centre.
The National Government has been vocal over the past year about suppression orders being breached but if victims can’t trust the Ministry of Justice to protect their anonymity in cases where suppression orders have been granted, then how can they reasonably expect the media or any other group or individual to adhere to stipulations of suppression orders.
Family members have stated that the victims would not have come forward had they known they were going to be publicly identified. The psychological damage that an incident like this causes those victims must be of the utmost concern to the Government. My concern now is that a case like this is likely to have an impact on other victims of sexual abuse victims, stepping forward out of fear that their details might be ‘accidentally’ released to the public.
An apology to victims will now be too late – their details have been splashed on a Government website for the public to see. There’s nothing that the Government can do to take that back.