Experts in sexual assault/abuse medicine

Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa (MEDSAC), formerly known as Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care (DSAC), is the acknowledged New Zealand expert body in sexual assault/abuse medicine. It is recognised as such by the Ministry of Health, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and New Zealand Police, as well as by the Health and Disability Commissioner and international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

We are an incorporated society and registered charity with over 450 expert clinician and allied professional members.

Purpose and ambition

Why we do what we do

Our purpose is to improve the wellbeing of all people affected by sexual assault or abuse.

What we aim for

We are committed to ensuring that people in New Zealand who are affected by sexual assault/abuse have equitable and timely access to appropriate high quality medical care and medico-legal services.

Organisational structure

MEDSAC is governed by a Board. MEDSAC services are delivered by five Board committees and operationally supported by five committee managers.

History

In 1988, a group of New Zealand clinicians committed to addressing the needs of people affected by sexual assault and abuse started Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care (DSAC). In its early years, members from diverse disciplines shaped DSAC into a respected professional body. Since that time, it has grown and diversified, and now has over 450 expert clinician and allied professional members, from all regions of New Zealand.

In November 2006, DSAC played an integral role in the development of the new Sexual Abuse and Assessment Treatment Service (SAATS). Clinicians working within SAATS provide the medical care and forensic examinations for any person who may have experienced sexual assault or abuse. DSAC (now MEDSAC) remains the key medical forensic advisor to these services, and provides the training, accreditation and support of the clinicians working within them.

Why the name change?

From DSAC...

Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care (DSAC) was formed in 1988 as a national organisation of doctors to advance knowledge and improve standards of medical care for those affected by sexual assault/abuse.

DSAC was governed by an Executive Committee, elected annually, and supported by regional liaison doctors to foster DSAC activities throughout New Zealand.

Originally managed by a President, this title was changed to DSAC Chairperson in 2008. DSAC's success, whilst always a team effort, was enabled by the wise and dedicated leadership of the Chairs/Presidents.

... to MEDSAC

Over the years, DSAC grew to include a wider group of healthcare professionals with clinical experience in many disciplines, including nursing, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and sexual healthcare.

This led to a new name and identity, reflective of our vibrant, diverse and growing membership.

DSAC was renamed Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa, or MEDSAC, in 2017.

The korus in the MEDSAC logo represent the 3 pillars of our organisation: medical training and accreditation, forensic work and patient care, as well as embodying our commitment to the people of Aotearoa.