Unite questions how much of additional £76 million will go to support Nexus, Women’s Aid, Victim Support and Men’s Advisory Project in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Executive must get serious about tackling surge in domestic and sexual abuse by properly resourcing those on front-line
Taryn Trainor, Unite Regional Women’s and Equalities Officer called on the Northern Ireland Executive to clarify how much additional money would be committed to front-line support services in the region after new funding was committed by UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
“The lockdown to counter the spread of Covid-19 has led to a surge in the numbers of reported incidents of domestic and sexual abuse. Indeed, our members who staff the domestic and sexual violence helpline in Northern Ireland have been overwhelmed by the volume of calls they receive.
“Organisations like Nexus, Women’s Aid, Victim Support and the Men’s Advisory Project are at the front-line of dealing with the surge of such incidents but they are doing so against the backdrop of chronic long-term under-funding by the Northern Ireland Executive.
“The announcement by the UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick that an additional £76 million was to be provided to support victims of domestic and sexual abuse, vulnerable children, victims of modern slavery and to fund the refuges is welcome. We now need to see how this translates on the ground in Northern Ireland.
“The Northern Ireland Executive Ministers are collectively responsible for funding these support services and must now put a figure to the funding that they will provide locally as a result of this additional support. We need to see clear additionality of funding – not just the same commitments recycled. There is a genuine crisis in domestic and sexual abuse right now and the Executive needs to get serious about it by properly resourcing those at the front-line dealing who are dealing with it”, Ms Trainor said.