‘Ecstatic’ over funding boost news

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Funding boost . . . Rape Crisis Dunedin development co-ordinator Angelo Libeau looks over some resources at the organisation's office this week. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Family violence services across Dunedin are “absolutely ecstatic” part of a $76million funding boost across the country is heading their way.

Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women’s Refuge manager Wenda Parata-Muir said she was delighted at the prospect of more funding.

“It feels like unrelenting years of advocacy has paid off,” she said.

Last week the Government announced it would provide $76million in funding for family violence services.

The funding would be spread over four years.

Mrs Parata-Muir praised the Government’s decision.

“It shows their commitment towards women and children of domestic violence across the entire country, which is great to see.”

Women’s Refuge had been at risk of closing its services in the past, she said.

The last time she could recall a funding boost of this magnitude was at least 10 years ago.

Women’s Refugee always had to “over-deliver” and refused to send people away.

“We have more volunteers than we do paid workers across the country, so this is important for us,” Mrs Parata-Muir said.

Women’s Refuge financial co-ordinating administrator Judy Mullen said she had constantly pushed for additional funding over the years and it was a “huge relief to think there is more coming our way”.

She was unsure how much the Woman’s Refuge would receive, but “every little bit counts”.

“It means we can extend our reach to women and children across the sector, but the framework around where that money will go, I have no idea at this stage,” Mrs Parata-Muir said.

Rape Crisis development co-ordinator Angelo Libeau said he shared Mrs Parata-Muir’s excitement but it was unclear what it meant for Rape Crisis.

“We are relieved and elated for family violence services to be getting this boost – that money needs to go there but for us it means nothing at this stage.”

Mr Libeau said there was a tendency to wrap sexual violence services and family violence services together, but they were not interchangeable.

He had not heard anything from other Rape Crisis organisations on whether they would receive funding but he was always hopeful.

“It’s going in a positive direction, which is hopeful, but to make the assumption that separate Rape Crisis services will benefit from that is just not the case as far as we know.”

Rape Crisis was historically under-resourced, he said.

Rape Crisis had several projects under way regarding privacy legislation, for which resources were needed.

“We talk about making a safe environment for people but others don’t stop to think – are there infrastructures in place and do we have enough resources for the need of the people that are out there?

“I hope a great deal of it does come down to the Otago region, because we are so spread out,” he said, Mr Libeau said.

 

SUPPORT SERVICES

If you are experiencing violence in any form, support is available:

Women’s Refuge 24-hour crisis line: 0800 733-843

Rape Crisis helpline: 0800 883-300

Are you OK – Family violence helpline: 0800 456-450

Shine domestic abuse helpline: 0508 744-633