June 13, 2024

Vital services for Kilkenny victims of domestic abuse at risk of closure

Essential services for Kilkenny people directly affected by domestic abuse could be closed for good without the necessary Government funding, a local TD has said.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion raised the issue of the critical need for funding for the Amber Kilkenny Women’s Refuge in the Dáil this week.

She told Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone that vulnerable women and children will see their essential counselling and play therapy cut unless at a targeted plan for funding is agreed by her department by January 2020.

Deputy Funchion said: “Minister Zappone visited Amber Kilkenny Women’s Refuge service in January 2017. It was much appreciated that the minister took the time to visit this excellent and essential service for vulnerable women and children. The service covers a vast area and includes the whole of Carlow and Kilkenny and the need for this service cannot be overstated.

“I have requested that the minister provide targeted funding for counselling for the women and children attending the service. Women do not exit a domestic violence situation to suddenly find themselves suddenly feeling ok. They must go through a process and counselling is a key part of that. Children who have been affected by domestic abuse are also in critical need of counselling, which is often in the form of play therapy.”

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) said funding for the Amber Kilkenny Women’s Refuge service is currently being provided by a charitable organisation.

But she warned: “This will run out by the end of this year and will put the whole counselling budget in jeopardy. We want supports in place for that eventuality so that the women and children receiving this crucial therapy is not cut short.”


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