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Women's refuges not getting enough support

Women's refuges not getting enough support


Women's refuge centres need adequate and reliable funding if they are to properly provide shelter for vulnerable women and children, Labour's Deputy Leader and Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.

"This country has the highest rates of physical and sexual violence in the OECD. In the last year 25,000 women and children used refuge services with an average of 230 women and children staying in one of the Refuge's safe houses every night, up nearly 12 per cent on the previous year," Annette King said.

"Keeping those refuges open costs $30,000 a day, yet the National Government has cut $382,200 from the funding required to keep Women's Refuge's 45 safe houses going. It has also cut just over $300,000 in contracts held by some refuges for family violence coordinators and child advocate jobs," Annette King said.

"We keep hearing Paula Bennett talking about 'wrapping' support around people. If she is serious about keeping this country's most vulnerable citizens safe, cutting funding to crisis refuges is hardly the right way to go about it.

"It doesn't get any more front line than this.

"Dealing with the consequence of violence against women and children, and changing the culture that leads to it requires a comprehensive approach.

"Part of that is providing a safe environment for sufferers of family violence, and to that end Labour will reinstate the $700,000 funding shortfall so that Women's Refuge can provide emergency support for vulnerable women and children when they need it," Annette King said.

Authorised by Annette King, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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