Survivors of violent crimes by those declared insane want the same rights as victims of other crimes

There are calls for greater protection of the victims of people declared insane.

One mental health nurse was brutally attacked by her patient and has launched a petition.

There are calls to change the law so survivors of violent crimes by those declared insane, are given the same rights as victims of other crimes.

Mental health nurse Wendy Hamer was brutally attacked by her own patient and has now launched a petition to try and protect herself and others.

Ms Hamer was visiting a respite care patient in Nelson in 2009, when everything went wrong.

"I was beaten unrecognisable, stabbed multiple times and then when I didn't die he threw a jug of boiling water over me, so I had burns to 30 percent of my body," she told Newshub.

She was lucky to even have survived.

"My attack was brutal, he knew exactly what he was doing, he told me he would kill me and he said he would get off on an insanity defence."

Hamer's attacker was found not guilty after a judge declared he was insane but it was then she discovered she's not entitled to the same rights as a victim of any other offender for instance, she doesn't have to be consulted if he's moved.

And now her attacker has been shifted back to Nelson, not far from her workplace.

Another victim of a person declared insane has joined Wendy's campaign.

"It is so important that victims like us get the same rights as other victims of crime because it is truly impossible to recover when the original atrocity is compounded by injusitce in the aftermath," Sarah said. 

Last year Sarah was brutally beaten and raped in her Nelson home.

"Basically the way I cope is I now isolate myself almost complete," Sarah said.

Like Hamer, she says the trauma is continued by a flawed system.

"Where I would have expected to get help from certain agencies, I have instead had to suffer ongoing harm from the way that I've been dealt with by them," Sarah said.

Wendy's petition is open until March next year before it's sent to parliament.

On Saturday, Hamer launched her so-called "Wendy's Petition" alongside National MP Nick Smith.

"They should not be discriminated and lose those rights as a victim as a consequence of the person being mentally unwell," Nelson MP Nick Smith said.

There's been a steady increase in the number of people found guilty by reason of insanity, four in 2000 last year and 36 last year.


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