A former New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) counsellor appeared in the Wellington District Court today to face two charges of indecent assault relating to events alleged to have taken place in 2009.
The accused, Wellington man Silipa Take, was asked to resign in 2009 following an internal investigation into the allegations. Neither the New Zealand Association of Counsellors nor the Police were informed of the incident at time because the client involved chose not to take the matter further.The NZAF strengthened its code of ethical conduct and the professional requirements of its counsellors following the incident.
NZAF Executive Director, Shaun Robinson, says the NZAF takes this matter very seriously. “We are appalled by any abuse and especially in a situation where clients may have been put at risk.”
“With the wisdom of hindsight stronger action should have been taken with regards to the alleged perpetrator and the NZAF should have done more to investigate whether other clients had been affected,” Robinson says. “These were mistakes and we apologise for them.”
Robinson adds, “The NZAF is deeply sorry that such a situation has occurred within our services. We offer an unconditional apology to all those who have been affected by these very serious and deeply regrettable events.”
The NZAF is co-operating fully with the Police in their enquiry and would like to hear from anyone who used our services and has concerns that they may have been subjected to indecent assault.
Anyone concerned can call 04 3816643.
| Sarah Murphy
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