Sinn Féin MLA Sinead Ennis has slammed the invasive use of victims’ counselling records in sexual assault trials.
The South Down MLA said:
“It is unacceptable that victims of sexual assault cannot access mental health support from counsellors without the worry that their words will end up being read out in a court room.
“This means that victims cannot have the full privacy when seeking support as other people accessing mental health services do.
“This is unnecessary punishment for victims, who may already be traumatised by the system, and who are already extremely vulnerable.
“This is likely to affect people’s confidence in coming forward to report crimes, or in seeking professional help.”