28 April 2011
Cuts to anti-violence services Not OK
Vital anti-violence services are losing funding at exactly the time they need it most, the Green Party said today.
“Moves to effectively cut up to $700,000 from frontline anti-violence services could not come at a worse time,” Green Party Women’s Affairs Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.
Ms Delahunty was responding to news that Government ‘reprioritisation’ of family violence funding meant an effective cut for services such as Women’s Refuge, Te Rito Family Violence Coordinators, and advocacy services for children who witness family violence.
“Families are hurting all around the country. Economic stress is linked to increasing incidences of domestic violence and abuse, meaning frontline services to help vulnerable women and children are needed more than ever.
“We have seen this phenomenon in action in Christchurch following the February 22 earthquake. Women’s Refuge experienced a steep increase in demand, and were able to respond effectively, with the help of donations and support from around the country.
“Last night at a public meeting in Whangarei, I learned that Women’s Refuge used to have two safe houses in Whangarei. Due to higher demand, they now have four, and are fundraising for a fifth. This pattern is being repeated around the country.
“Why on earth would we cut from this vital service at a time when it is so clearly needed?
“This is a cold-hearted decision from John Key’s Government, and one that is likely to put many women and children at risk.
“It’s simply Not OK,” Ms Delahunty said.