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Government is failing women fleeing domestic violence – Mitchell

29 March, 2019 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has criticised the government for failing to meet targets for domestic violence refuge provision.

Speaking in the Dáil, the Dublin Bay North TD said:

“We have seen no increase in domestic violence refuge spaces in recent years and the Minister tells us there are nine counties which have no refuge provision whatsoever. Others large counties such as Cork have only five places.

“One can imagine how difficult it is for a woman and her children fleeing a domestic violence situation only to find they must also leave their own county in order to access services. This compounds an already distressing and upsetting situation for those families.”

Deputy Mitchell said full figures on the operating capacity of each of the domestic violence refuges in recent months needed to be released and accused the Government of consistently failing to achieve recommended targets for over 20 years:

“Going by guidelines set-out by the Council of Europe – which recommends one refuge space per 7,500 to 10,000 of the population – it would appear that our domestic violence refuge provision is 70% less than the recommended amount,” she said.

Deputy Mitchell, while welcoming the reopening of the refuge in Rathmines in Dublin which will be facilitating homeless women and those fleeing domestic violence refuges, said:

“We need to ensure women who are fleeing domestic violence have access to specialist services and supports.” 

Note: Transcript of full exchange with Minister Zappone here:

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