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They help victims of violence, but now they need it themselves. The center in Lesko is threatened with closure

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When a nightmare happened in their homes, how they were beaten and tortured in them, they found shelter in the SOS Support Center in Lesko. There they regained peace and a sense of security, and now they are afraid again. The center may cease to exist, because not even a zloty was found for it in the state budget reserve. However, the spokesman for the Podkarpackie Voivode promised that the funds would be found.

They are afraid for themselves and for their children. The fear of the charges of the SOS Support Center in Lesko against the perpetrators is so great that they do not want to show their faces. I was a victim of my husband for 29 years. I left the house with nothing, but I knew that I couldn’t go back home because I was in danger of death – says one of them.

– If I had not found him, I suspect that I would have returned to the father of my children, who was violent, abusing alcohol and drugs. I would go back to my addiction – admits another ward of the center.

The center in Lesko has helped 800 people over the course of nearly 17 years. Not only women and children, but also men who have experienced violence. Now the facility itself needs help. – It may not be enough for 2-3 months of functioning, because all fees have increased, the costs of the minimum wage have increased and helplessness has begun – says Joanna Szurlej, director of the center.

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See also: They went through hell, SOS gave them a chance for a better life. Now he won’t get support. “This means the end”

The activities of the support centers are financed from the funds of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, from funds from the National Program for Counteracting Domestic Violence. This year’s subsidy is less than PLN 522,000. According to the center’s director, about 200,000 are missing. – All the time the ministerial subsidy was insufficient, but somehow we managed, we got the voivode’s special-purpose reserve, and this year we got information that we might not get this special-purpose reserve – explains Szurlej.

The letter from the deputy minister of family and social policy to the voivode shows that the Podkarpackie voivodship received more than was provided for in the budget to maintain a total of 4 support centers. “The surplus is PLN 149,000 thousand. Therefore, the Podkarpackie Voivodeship was not included in the list of the allocation of the special-purpose reserve for 2023,” we read.

The Foundation launches a campaign against violence against childrenTVN24

Intervention of the governor

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a life-threatening situation, call 997 or 112.

For women who find themselves in a difficult situation, the help they received at the center is invaluable. “This place helped me a lot because it straightened out my whole life. I came out of addiction, I have all the help that is possible here: social, psychological, psychiatric. My children are happy – confesses another of the charges of the SOS Support Center in Lesko.

In the reply sent to us, the Ministry assures that work on a new program to counteract domestic violence has started and that the Prime Minister has decided to mobilize additional funds to meet the needs of local centres. There is supposed to be more money, but the question is whether they will be on time.

Michał Mielniczuk from the Podkarpackie Voivodeship Office in Rzeszów assures that the new funds will reach the centers later this year. “That’s the purpose of what we’re doing right now. I do not know what amount we will close, but this information will be forwarded to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy. I trust that the funds indicated by us will be made real and the centers will be able to count on such money – he adds.

Read also: “The sons cried, they did not want to go home. Then I promised them that they were afraid of their father for the last time”

Without money, the center may cease to exist, and thus – help. I can’t imagine if I would even be alive if I wasn’t here. This house is very much needed here – adds another of the charges.

The director of the center also appeals to former charges to ask the deputy minister of family and social work for help.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24





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