Thursday , October 21 2021

"This is the last straw" – victims of offenders are considered a crazy call for change in law 1 News now


Warning: This report and the video above contain disturbing content and images.

Victims of crimes by people found insane say they are treated as second-class citizens.

They call for changing the law, with a petition launched in Nelson today, seeking the same rights as other victims of violence.

"Victims of people who have been convicted of a crime because of insanity have far fewer rights than other victims of crime," explains petitioner Wendy Hammer.

The former mental health worker was brutally attacked by a patient almost 10 years ago.

He was not convicted of a crime because he was considered insane by the courts and instead was assigned under the care of the health system as a special blue.

Then last month, Mrs. Hammer discovered the man who had tried to kill her and was transferred to her hometown.

The damage after the attack was worth the attack and the worst thing happens.Wendy Hammer

"So for me it was the last straw," she says.

"We should at least expect no more damage from a cruel attack like I did, but the damage after the attack was worth the attack, and the worst thing is that it was only 40 minutes from my life."

As a registered victim of a "special patient", Mrs. Hammer must be informed of some of his movements.

"I have the right to know his first vacation accompanied by the hospital, I have the right to know when he is celibate and the right to know when he has a change in legal status," she says.

But it has no legal statement about its transfer or conditions of release, unless the patient gives consent.

Nelson MP Nick Smith is working with her to change it.

"What we are trying to do with Wendy's request is to reinstate the law so that we have to focus permanently on the fact that there is a victim, and we must take into account the rights of the victim and the defenses," he says.

This also includes the right to make an impact statement on the victim.

One of the survivors who spoke to news, which could not be called for legal reasons, had to get permission from her assailant to read a trial in court.

"It was just awful," she says.

She says the punishment was the right to her personal health records, but she was not allowed to.

"To remind me that my consent and will are irrelevant, that I am powerless and helpless, a few days after I was raped, I was treated as a traumatic and parallel experience," she says.

In response to the Justice Department, a spokesman said the victim's statements are being made to help the court cut off the offender.

"As they found people are not guilty on the basis of madness they are not sentenced but can instead be placed in treatment, there is no eligibility for a victim effect statement to be called to court," said senior court administrator Tania Ott.

"However, this does not prevent judges from accepting the statements of the victims in their considerations."

This means a variety of services are available to assist all victims through the court system. And the Health Ministry says all its special patients are closely monitored.

"Wendy's request" will be presented to Parliament by Dr. Smith in March.

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