The organisation was informed by a letter from the Department of Health that their funding would end in September 2023, following the Budget set by the Secretary of State. North Down MLA Connie Egan said this was at odds with the proposed Executive strategies to end violence against women and girls.
The Women’s Aid Federation supports women and their children who have experienced domestic abuse.
“Northern Ireland is statistically speaking one of the most dangerous places in Western Europe for women facing domestic abuse,” said Ms Egan.
“Therefore we need fully-funded support services to help those who have been affected. To cut the funding of one of the main groups tackling that very issue would be catastrophic, with a long-term negative impact on the community.
“Before the collapse of government here, the Executive Office was pursuing a strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, while the seven-year domestic and sexual abuse strategy between the Department of Justice and Department of Health is up for renewal.
“To then cut this funding is at complete odds with that, leaving strategies with no resources How can we protect and support victims of domestic abuse and violence if these groups are not funded to do so. This decision needs to be reversed immediately. It will literally save lives.”