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Full Dáil debate needed on violence against women

28 November, 2006


Sinn Féin Human Rights spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government to provide time on the Dáil schedule to debate the huge funding shortfall which has resulted in 10,000 calls to the Women's Aid helpline going unanswered last year. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said time should be allocated during the International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women. Today is the fourth of the sixteen days.

He said, "Recent figures show that one in seven women in Ireland have experienced severe abuse, defined as a pattern of physical, emotional or sexual behaviours between partners in an intimate relationship that causes, or risks causing, significant negative consequences for the person affected.

"The government must allocate time on the Dáil schedule during the International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women to debate and address the grave funding shortfalls resulting from a government imposed funding cap since 2002 which meant that 10,000 calls to the Women's Aid helpline went unanswered last year.

"There is an urgent need also to prescribe and resource a new role for the Probation and Welfare Service in relation to barring orders, and to ensure that the review of funding to the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency results in increased funding.

"The failure of the Gardaí to keep comprehensive records of domestic violence incidents must also be addressed along with the introduction of ongoing risk assessments to be conducted on the safety of women following their engagement with services." ENDS

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