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17 May 2022

Kildare TD calls for increased funding towards women’s refuges

Kildare TD calls for increased funding towards women’s refuges

File Pic: Dáil Éireann

A TD from County Kildare has called for increased funding to go towards women’s refuges.

Sinn Féin (SF) member Patricia Ryan TD, has called for increased funding to be made available for women’s refuges across the country.

In response to a parliamentary question (PQ) submitted by fellow SF TD Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne, it has been revealed that capacity at women’s refuges has actually decreased since 2015. 

SF has said that the Government is set to publish the third national domestic, sexual and gender-based violence strategy over the coming months, and Sinn Féin are calling on the Government to rectify historically inadequate amount of funding for domestic, sexual and gender based violence (DSGBV) services.

Commenting on the issue, Ryan said: "The numbers we have received via the PQ system have exposed how ineffective spending has been in domestic, sexual and gender based violence supports."

"Tusla have confirmed that although budgetary allocations have increased over the past 5 year period, capacity at women’s refuges has not."

Patricia Ryan TD

She continued: "While 142 refuge spaces were available in 2015, this number had in fact dropped to 137 in 2021: this is shameful considering the State signed the Istanbul Convention in 2015 and yet (it) hasn’t managed to increase the refuge supports in the 7 years since then.

Ryan further claimed that domestic violence has been exacerbated over the pandemic and women and children have suffered in the fallout: "there are still several counties without refuges and what message does this send to the women experiencing domestic violence in these areas – that they have nowhere to go?"

"We need to ensure that refuges are resourced to provide an adequate level of support in each and every county... we also need to ensure there is appropriate access to step-down and transitional accommodation so that women can move on from their time in refuges feeling safe and supported to do so.

"SF is calling on the Government to correct the historic underinvestment in domestic, sexual and gender based violence services in this state and genuine political action to improve outcomes for survivors and victims," she concluded.

Last week, Ryan and her SF colleague Réada Cronin TD publicly insisted that the Govt include family carers in the Frontline Bonus.

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