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Ó Snodaigh - Government cuts leave women vulnerable

25 November, 2003

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh today slammed the Government for cuts to programmes aimed at countering violence against women. He made his comments in the Dáil today on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and on the first day of 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women.

Deputy O'Snodaigh said, "It is a disgrace that for the second year running, this government sees fit to again cut the already low spending on essential programmes dedicated to preventing violence against women.

"It is also an insult to the women of this nation, when we know that nearly half of all Irish women experience some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime, when nearly one fifth of Irish women have been abused by a current or former partner, and a quarter of all violent crimes involve a man assaulting his wife or partner. These are very grave statistics and the organisations that help abused or violated women desperately need to maintain their already low levels of funding. It will be a further kick to them to find that the funding for their programmes has been cut yet again."

Deputy O'Snodaigh also referred to the cuts in social welfare payments in this issue saying: "Now the government's mean cuts in rent supplement payments for those dependent on social welfare will have the effect of forcing even more women to remain in violent relationships for economic reasons.

"The government should look at these issues that affect very vulnerable women every day in this country". ENDS

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