More funding for organisations working with victims of crime will ensure that anyone who suffers as a result of crime will receive every assistance available to them, a local TD said. Deputy Emer Higgins was speaking with regard to a funding announcement, totalling €5.25m for more than 65 organisations to work with victims of crime. “The work of organisations that help victims of crime is outstanding. They provide support, information and advice on the rights of victims, outreach work, court accompaniment and crime victim helplines,” Deputy Higgins said.
The allocations range from €3,000 to €740,000, and they cover:
- National and larger organisations such as Women’s Aid, Ruhama, and One in Four;
- Local organisations working with victims such as Domestic Violence Support, Women’s Refuge and Rape Crisis outlets;
- General victims support organisations including Victim Support at Court; and
- Specialist organisations including Migrant Rights Centre and Dignity 4 Patients.
“There is an increased budget of €5.8m allocated to the Department of Justice specifically for victims of crime in 2023, and the remaining funding will be made available later in the year once further service need assessments have been completed,” Deputy Higgins explained. “I am particularly pleased that Beacon of Light in Clondalkin is to receive €21,000 which will prove a very welcome boost to delivery of the services available to victims of crime.” Last October, the Department of Justice invited applications for funding from registered charities, voluntary community groups, and other organisations which provide services – or plan to provide services – supporting victims in the criminal justice system.
Funding is given to organisations that meet the objectives and that can show they have the required management and compliance policies and procedures in place. The Department of Justice currently funds a number of NGOs that provide supports for victims of crime on a multi-annual basis. These agreements aim to assist the organisations with their long-term planning and cash flow, and to ensure more effective and efficient use of funding. These organisations will see an increase in funding of 7.9pc in 2023
“The services provided by these organisations are extremely important, but increased costs and inflation have caused some difficulties – that is why this funding comes at a crucial time. Where organisations sought an increase on last year’s funding, they have been granted a 5pc cost-of-living increase, at a minimum. “Developing a victim-centred criminal justice system which prioritises the needs and experience of the victim underpins our commitment to building stronger, safer communities and this funding is a significant element of that,” Deputy Higgins concluded.
Justice Minister Simon Harris said, “I know that being the victim of a crime can be very traumatic and difficult, and we’re determined to ensure that the necessary range of supports and services to help is available. “Building stronger, safer communities and prioritising the needs and experience of the victim is central to our ongoing work under ‘Supporting a Victim’s Journey’ and the ‘Zero Tolerance’ strategy. “The work of so many organisations across the country that help victims of crime is outstanding. They provide support, information and advice on the rights of victims, outreach work, court accompaniment and crime victim helplines.”