19 Mar FAQs about our Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund
Firstly, thank you to everyone who contacted us to ask questions about our Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of New Zealanders and the world and thank everyone who has given so far.
To help answer some of your questions we have put together some FAQs. We have also included some operational questions and questions on what support is available to victims.
What’s the money for?
All donations will provide support and resources for those affected by these attacks. We are working closely with a large number of victims and their community. We are already responding to requests for emergency financial assistance.
The generosity of donations has surpassed all expectations and we are currently working through a process to allocate donations for ongoing (non-emergency) needs in a fair and responsible manner. There are a complex set of issues when managing victims’ needs, including cultural sensitivities that we need to be mindful of so it’s important that we remain flexible and responsive.
There have been some criticisms that the money may not be going to victims. Can you clarify that?
We would like to assure everyone that every cent will be used to provide resources and support for these victims.
Victims will have a wide range of needs. Some of these will be financial and some for other support. It’s critical that this fund is flexible enough to support those needs whatever they may be.
It’s worth noting that these donations will not be used for the regular operating funding for Victim Support.
What sort of financial assistance are you providing?
We are already providing emergency financial assistance for travel and other urgent costs, such as accommodation for family members. Assistance will include cash grants and other financial assistance as soon as it is possible to make these arrangements with victims and families.
If you have been directly affected by the shootings and wish to access financial assistance, please contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846.
How can people donate?
Donations can be made on our Givealittle page: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund
Non-monetary donations can be made through a variety of organisations.
Is it the biggest response to an appeal ever?
There have been other large appeals around major New Zealand disasters, such as those run by Red Cross. This is in line with some of those appeals, but is the largest response Victim Support has ever had.
Victim Support is experienced at managing multi-million dollar grants and has the capability and capacity to ensure support is provided in a fair and responsible manner.
How many people have police referred to you so far?
The situation is still evolving and we are receiving referrals continuously. We expect to receive hundreds of referrals over the course of the week.
What support is available?
We have specialist homicide support workers who can assist with a wide range of needs, including crisis response, grief and trauma support, practical and financial assistance.
Many people are deeply upset by these events. Do you have any advice for them?
It’s completely normal and appropriate to feel that way about an event like this. New Zealand is in mourning.
This is a good time to check on your neighbours, friends, and family. Make sure they are ok and have someone to talk to.
How can people reach out for help?
People directly affected by the incidents can call us 24 hours on 0800 VICTIM (842 846). You can call or text the free 24-hour Need To Talk helpline on 1737 to connect with a trained counsellor.