Croydon protesters rally over cuts to domestic violence services at the Family Justice Centre
Protesters rallied over cuts to domestic violence services this week. The Family Justice Centre in Park Lane is to have its funding from Croydon Council slashed by ten per cent this spring, on top of £200,000 of cuts in the last two budgets. It leaves the centre - the first in Europe to provide all-encompassing support to domestic violence victims - with £20,000 less to work with than in 2012. Councillor Alison Butler, who lead protests at the centre on Monday, said: "Over the last five or six years services have slowly been taken away from the centre, so it no longer operates in the sense it was set up for. It has vastly reduced services. "They have had several very big cuts over the last two budgets and this year again." "Because it is the Family Justice Centre, a lot of the people it would represent are very silent because of their position, so we think it is important to keep that issue on the agenda." Campaigner Hamida Ali, of Croydon Labour Women's Forum, added: "The building is still there, but increasingly services are being pulled out. "There are six services on its leaflets that are actually no longer provided. We have the highest domestic violence rate in London, which makes it even more concerning." Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said the ten per cent cut in this year's budget would be achieved through "more efficient" childcare for domestic abuse victims. He said: "We are currently looking at issue of childcare for parents that are attending the Family Justice Centre are are working with partners and providers to identify a more efficient service provision while aiming to continue the protection of children from the trauma of listening to the details of the domestic violence history." The Family Justice Centre opened in 2005 modelled on a similar centre in San Diego.