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Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillors launch motion in support of 16 Days Campaign

30 November, 2007

Dublin Sinn Féin Councillors today launched the party’s Domestic Violence Motion to be put to City Council next Monday in solidarity with the 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence against Women Campaign. Opening today’s event in City Hall Dublin Cllr. Louise Minihan said “The biggest obstacle to women fleeing domestic abuse is not having someone to go. Dublin City Council can change that.”


Cllr. Minihan added:


“A number of varied factors contribute to women and men staying in abusive relationships. One of the barriers to victims of domestic violence freeing themselves from their current situation is, without doubt, the shortage of safe and affordable accommodation.  It is essential that all factors, once identified, are rectified.


“Figures available starkly demonstrate the acute shortage of emergency refuge spaces.  In 2004 almost 2,000 women and children accessed emergency accommodation in the Eastern region.  1,144 were turned away due to the lack of spaces.  That’s over 50% turned away.


“Since 2003, according to figures provided to me by the Minister, spending by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on refuge accommodation has increased by less than 5%.  That’s below the rate of inflation which means that in real terms spending has decreased. 


“Sadly, we can assume that the number of victims of domestic violence has risen over the same period in parallel with the significant population increase. 


“It is the responsibility of Local Authorities to provide housing to women, and of course their children, who are unable to finance their own accommodation. This provision can include victims of domestic violence.


“The shortage of purpose-run emergency refuges and supported transitional accommodation leaves many victims forced to rely on homeless shelters and private B&Bs which are completely inappropriate to their particular needs.


“Next Monday Dublin Sinn Féin Councillors will table an emergency motion calling on the City Council Manager to phase out the use of private B&Bs for victims of domestic violence.


“We will also demand that City Management introduce a sufficient quantity of purpose-built emergency accommodation, increase supported transitional housing developments and ensure an adequate supply of social units.” CRÍOCH


Note to Editor: Motion Wording below

This Council:


Noting that it is the local authority’s responsibility to provide housing where the act of leaving an abusive relationship would otherwise render a victim of domestic violence homeless;


Recognising that the current practice in Dublin of using private B&Bs in place of refuges due to the shortage of spaces in same is inappropriate as it is often highly unsuitable in particular for women with children who are in need of intensive specialist supports;


Calls on the Dublin City Council Manager to phase out the use of private B&Bs for victims of domestic violence and to instead introduce a sufficient quantity of purpose-built emergency accommodation;


And in addition, mandates greater provision of supported transitional housing developments and an adequate supply of social units.





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