Victim Support has begun making emergency payments to Christchurch Mosque victims and families with money generously donated from the public, in addition to funds available through the Ministry of Justice’s Victim Assistance Scheme administered by Victim Support.
Victim Support encourages the families of the deceased, those injured, and witnesses to contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846 if they require support – whether this be emotional, practical and financial.
Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso said families of the deceased are eligible to receive an initial emergency payment of $15,000. Each person admitted to hospital from the event is entitled to $5,000. Additional funding can be approved to meet expenses related to the incidents, including family travel.
The initial $15,000 payments include $10,000 from Victim Support’s fundraising, and $5,000 from the Ministry of Justice Victim Assistance Scheme.
“It is important for people to contact us if they are in need of this funding – we are distributing it as quickly as possible as victims request it,” Mr. Tso said.
“It is also important to remember that victims will have a wide range of needs, which will evolve and change over time. Some of these will be financial and some will need other support. We are respecting cultural sensitivities and remaining flexible and responsive.”
Mr Tso emphasised that this was initial funding in order to ensure victims’ immediate needs were being met.
“Victim Support is working with other key fund-holders to ensure remaining funds raised are used in a fair, responsible, and coordinated way.
“All fund-holders are committed to working with victims and their communities around the long-term management of the fund, when the time is right for them.”
Mr. Tso said this is the first time Victim Support had set up a crisis appeal fund. The fund was established to consolidate the outpouring of public support they were receiving and was being supported in addition to their operational response to the incidents.
“Victim Support’s primary objective is to provide emotional, practical and financial support to victims – whether this is on the ground or on the phones,” he said.
“So, in addition to fundraising and providing financial support, our specialist homicide support workers are on the ground in Christchurch and providing a range of assistance to victims as they are referred to Victim Support.”
The families of the deceased, those injured and admitted to hospital, and witnesses are eligible for initial funding from Victim Support.
Victims directly affected by the shootings, who require financial, practical or emotional support, are encouraged to contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846.
Members of the public feeling distressed are encouraged to contact Need To Talk by text or phoning 1737.