Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has today called on the government urgently to address the chronic shortage of refuge places for women and their children seeking an escape from domestic violence.
Deputy McDonald said:
“Year on year the number of women and their children seeking refuse from domestic violence continues to increase. Figures released today by Sonas Housing tell us that 4 out of every 5 women seeking refuge have been refused because of the chronic shortage of emergency accommodation. In government Fine Gael and Labour are providing just 30% of the necessary refuge places required by European standards. In many counties there are no refuges at all. These figures are deeply alarming.
“The Programme for Government commits to introducing domestic violence legislation. Labour’s election manifesto committed to tackling and eradicating domestic violence and to protect funding for frontline services, such as family refuges. The reality of course is that thousands of vulnerable women and children are being turned away each year from safe shelter when seeking to escape a life of violence and harm under Fine Gael and Labour’s watch.
“The Government’s failure to protect victims of domestic violence flies in the face of the Children Rights Referendum. How can Fine Gael and Labour credibly go to the people seeking their support for the referendum whilst failing to provide the most basic protections from domestic violence? Funds must be ring fenced in Budget 2013 by Government to significantly increase the number of refuse places across the state in line with European standards.” ENDS