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Muslim community hopes victims feeling isolated after attacks access donations

Newshub logoNewshub 8/04/2019 Jamie Ensor, Edward O'Driscoll
a vase of flowers sitting on top of a grass covered field: Victim Support CEO Kevin Tso spoke to The AM Show last week about the funds. © Video - The AM Show; Image - Newshub. Victim Support CEO Kevin Tso spoke to The AM Show last week about the funds.

A lawyer working with the Muslim community hopes money raised after the Christchurch attacks finds its way to victims who remain traumatised by the massacre.

Nearly four weeks on from the attacks, which saw 50 people lose their lives and many more injured, money continues to be raised for the victims and their families.

A Givealittle page set up by Victim Support has raised $9.8 million, while a further $2.7 million has been funded on LaunchGood.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said last week that more than $1.5 million has already been spent, helping those affected pay for food, rent and mortgages, but others hope all victims are receiving support.

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Andrew Oh, a lawyer who is working with the Muslim community, says some victims of the attacks are struggling and remain traumatised by the attacks.

As a result, they can be difficult to get in touch with and he hopes agencies are working to ensure they don't miss out on some of the funds.

"There are people who are still staying at home, have the curtains closed, they are too scared to go outside because they are still traumatised by what has happened," Oh told Newshub.

"[The Muslim community wants to] ensure that the money collected for the victims gets to the victims, and secondly, they want to ensure that the victims and their family and community are kept up to date."

It has also been suggested that a coordinated hub is set up to help inform victims and their families about how they can get their hands on the money.

Oh said the wider community can help by donating to legitimate organisations which ensure all money is going to the victims.

"I am hoping that everyone who has [set up a fundraiser], has done it for the right reason. The reality is that we don't know if that is true or not," he said.

In the aftermath of the attacks, Westpac warned of an email scam using the bank's branding looking for donations.

The national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) warned at the time it's not the only one.

"CERT NZ has received reports of different opportunistic online scams and attacks in the wake of the tragic events in Christchurch," it said on its website.

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