€1m provided to groups supporting victims of crime

MORE than e1 million in funding was provided to groups supporting crime victims last year, including 25 groups helping those affected by domestic abuse.

The fourth annual report of the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime shows that 56 applications for funding were received by the commission last year, resulting in e1,057,148 being distributed between 45 groups.

The money shared among the groups was an increase of more than e100,000 compared with the 2007 figure.

The single largest funding allocation was e90,000 to the Cork-based Support After Crime Service, which last year said it urgently needed volunteers in the Limerick and Clare areas to keep up with demand.

Support After Crime Services director, Sally Hanlon, said yesterday that there was still a problem in securing the services of volunteers in Limerick.

“For some reason that is unknown to me it is very difficult to get volunteers in Limerick,” she said.

“I cannot put my finger on it, but I can understand that if some people did not know the nature of our work they may be afraid to become volunteers.

“There is no way that the volunteers for our organisation would be put at any risk,” Ms Hanlon added.

Other groups to receive funding allocations last year included Children At Risk in Ireland, which received e80,000, and the Crime Victims helpline, which received e75,000.

Ruhama, which provides support for women working in prostitution, also received e70,000 to help its services for victims of human trafficking.

A report to be launched this morning by Ruhama and the Immigrant Council of Ireland is expected to outline a number of human trafficking cases that have come to light in recent years.

The Sexual Violence Centre Cork also received funding, but in all 25 groups supporting domestic violence victims around the country received varying sums.

In almost all cases the money was provided for the purposes of accompanying the victim to court.

In all, almost 40% of the funding allocated last year went to groups working in the area of domestic abuse, while the total amount of funding available has grown from a starting level of e685,000 when the commission began its work in 2005.

The commission itself was reconstituted in September last year following recommendations made in a framework document presented to the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern.


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