Government must increase funding for domestic violence services - Trevor Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin’s Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on the government to properly resource services for women fleeing domestic violence.
Speaking in the Seanad where he called for a debate on the subject, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“Domestic violence is on the increase and the services to assist women and children seeking shelter are crying out for funding.
“In my own constituency in Galway the Domestic Violence Response service is in serious need of additional funding.
“It has an acute lack of funding and personnel to enable it to provide front line services, telephone support and one-to-one information to women in County Galway.
“Funding is wholly inadequate to meet the needs of women and over five hundred helpline calls went unanswered last year due to a lack of staff.
“This year alone an average of fifty calls a month were missed because there was no one in the office to respond when a call came in.
“This situation is not unique to Galway and is unfortunately replicated across the country.
“For women and children living in violent and abusive situations these services offer a life line that can often mean the difference between life and death.
“It is unacceptable to provide miniscule amounts of funding to address domestic violence.
“Last year alone over 11,500 women and children received support from these services and a total of 46,137 calls were received. That’s roughly five calls every hour.
“Women and children deserve to be protected and making sure domestic violence services have sufficient funding is one way of doing this.”