NGO gets HK$5m boost to help victims of family violence

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 March, 2010, 12:00am

The government will give a non-governmental organisation HK$5 million to offer services to victims of spousal and child abuse.

From June, Po Leung Kuk will run a support programme for victims of family violence, giving help especially to those whose cases are subject to judicial proceedings, Social Welfare director Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said yesterday.

'The government is committed to combating domestic violence and has continuously provided new resources to enhance the preventive, supportive and follow-up services for victims of domestic violence and families in need,' Nip said.

Latest government figures show most domestic violence involved spousal abuse.

Some 4,807 cases of battered spouses were reported last year, down from 6,843 in 2008.

But while the number of spousal abuse cases fell, the number of child abuse cases rose from 882 to 993 over the same period.

This showed there was a need for concerted efforts to tackle domestic violence, Nip said.

'Apart from promoting family harmony as a core value and enhancing public awareness of family violence, we have to strengthen the services and support for victims,' he said. Programme staff would offer victims of domestic violence information on civil and criminal procedures, such as how to apply for an restraining order or an interim order, or file for divorce.

Legal aid, accommodation, medical and psychological treatment and child-care support would also be provided. The aim was to help alleviate victims' fears and feelings of helplessness and help them return to normal life as soon as possible.

Volunteers, including former users of the programme, would also be trained and recruited to help victims access services.

A sum of HK$1.792 billion had been earmarked for services related to family and child welfare for the year 2010-11, a rise of 4.5 per cent on the budget for the previous financial year, Nip said.

Violence decreasing

Last year, the number of cases of spousal violence fell from 6,843 in 2008 to: 4,807