'There can be no justification for cutting services to women victims of violence who are often among the most isolated and vulnerable individuals in our society.' - Bob Bymoen.
Saskatoon (15 March 2010) - The decision by the Saskatchewan government to cut Saskatoon's domestic abuse outreach program means that more vulnerable women and children will have to face the fear and trauma of family violence on their own, says the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
"The domestic abuse outreach program has helped women and children in crisis for decades," says SGEU president Bob Bymoen.
"Over the years, it offered a unique range of services, from front-line advocacy to counseling and peer support. There can be no justification for cutting services to women victims of violence who are often among the most isolated and vulnerable individuals in our society," he argues. "The government claims it is standardizing services but if that means lowering the quality and capacity of service delivery that is simply unacceptable," Bymoen added.
SGEU represents the front-line workers in the ministry of social services who assisted women and children in crisis through the program.
"Government's intention to shift the duties onto community agencies is unrealistic and ill-conceived," Bymoen says. "These agencies do not have the resources to provide the support and services these women and children need and deserve."
The Saskatchewan Party government began dismantling services to families at risk, particularly teens and young parents, in Saskatoon in 2008 when it closed the family support centre.
"We believe that the people of Saskatchewan are caring and compassionate, and want government to support families in crisis," says Bymoen. "We urge this government to re-think this misguided move and reinstate a full range of programs and services to women and children facing domestic abuse."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE