Government called on for increasing funding for refuge services
By Te Karere
While most people are holidaying, social workers are being run off their feet.
A domestic violence counsellor says refuges around Auckland are full to the brim as women seek help from their abusive partners.
Auckland Women’s Refuge spokesperson Megan Grace is calling on the government for more funding for more services at this, their busiest time of year, “He aha e kapi ana ngā tari tautoko, ngā tari tautoko i ngā whanau? Nā reira me tiro whānui tātou he aha anō hei āwhina kia kaua e waiho mā te torutoru noa iho e kawe.”
Grace also says there are nine refuges for women around Auckland and they are all full up, “At this time of the year I find that the psychological, financial burdens and abuses are at a higher level. That’s because most mums and most whānau are looking at trying to maintain that image of a happy home.”
In 2016, police investigated around 100,000 instances of family violence.
Steward Eiao helps counsel men abusing their partners and says issues are complex, “It comes back to like trust and insecurity issues, especially within the relationships in regards to domestic violence.”
And like Grace, he says they are struggling to keep up with the demand for help, “I hope the government can help out in that sort of area because they're saying the best place for men is prison but that’s not the case.”
Eiao is sending out a message to those men struggling at this time, “Identify who you are when no one is watching, who you are behind closed doors and to reach out for help. There is help out there.”
But with most services not back up and running for another two weeks, social workers like these two will be under the pump.