Leadership & Advocacy

SAFE Ireland holds a vital leadership role in Ireland as a national social change agency with specific expertise on understanding, responding to and preventing domestic violence. At the core of our national advocacy work is the representation of the needs of women and children across the whole of government and civil society. Through our research programmes and consultation with our members we are uniquely placed to hear directly from women in a way that protects their anonymity but provides an independent platform for their views and experiences to be heard and communicated publicly.

National Representation & Advocacy

  • SAFE Ireland works to address a number of key emerging issues that negatively impact on women’s help seeking and recovery journeys and consequently on our member’s service provision. Arising from extensive consultation with our members and the SAFE Ireland research programmes we advocate nationally for policy, legislative and practice changes.
  • Recent Priority issues which SAFE Ireland have advocated on include:
  • Homelessness and Domestic Violence
  • Legislative changes to remove barriers to social housing supports for women who owned their own home.
  • Definition of the link to domestic violence and homelessness in Irish law Exceptions in the Habitual Residency Condition for victims of domestic violence.
  • The lack of emergency refuge and long term housing for women.
  • The removal of identifying information of women in refuges in state homeless data collection system.

Irish Legal System response to women

  • A root and branch review of the Irish legal system to address systemic failures
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  • The introduction of a comprehensive legislative definition for domestic violence, which encompasses ‘coercive control.
  • Development of a state of the art justice system that will ensure that the application of law is consistent and has cohesion.
  • Introduction of risk and needs assessment practices for justice professionals
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  • Introduction of multi agency homicide review structures based on UK model.
  • Introduction of special measures in place for victims of domestic violence so that barriers to accessing the justice system are removed including prohibitive legal aid fees.
  • Introduction of legislation to recognise domestic violence in child access and custody cases.

Investment of Funding in Frontline Domestic Violence Services

  • Ring fencing and increased investment of funding for domestic violence services and SAFE Ireland.

National Policy and Representation

SAFE IRELAND is the national representative body for Domestic Violence services in Ireland. In this role we place issues arising through services and from women at the centre of our work.

We believe that women and children have a right to live free from domestic violence and that the men who commit crimes should be held accountable for them.

We work at national level to progress our social change agenda and to deepen an understanding of the work carried out by services throughout the country. We lobby for resources to enable services to meet the needs of women and children who experience domestic violence and we continue to work with the Irish government to advocate for a “whole of government” response to the crime of domestic violence. We believe that to address domestic violence holistically in society we need to enable civic society to understand and take up its responsibilities towards women and children who experience violence.

Objectives:

  • Develop further opportunities for members to engage with and support the National representative and advocacy work
  • Continue to build effective and strategic working relationships with government departments, key statutory agencies and relative stakeholders
  • Maintain an independent voice to negotiate and progress a social change agenda that represents the issues identified by the Network
  • Widen our sphere of influence through the development of relationships with strategic allies

SAFE Ireland Representation

2013 & 2014

In 2013 & 2014, SAFE Ireland was formally represented on the following national committees:

  • National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women (NSC)
  • NSC Legal Issues Subcommittee
  • National Homeless Consultative Committee
  • HSE Joint Advisory Committee
  • HSE Children First DSGBV Committee
  • HSE DSGBV Data Committee’

2011

2011

To date in 2011 SAFE Ireland has been represented and participated in the following committees:

  • National Steering Committee (NSC) on Violence Against Women
  • National Steering Committee Public Awareness Sub Committee (Chairperson)
  • National Steering Committee Legal Issues Sub Committee
  • COSC One Stop Shop Committee
  • Mayo Childrens Initiative
  • National Centre for the Protection of Older People’s (NCPOP) service user group-2011

2010

2010

In 2010 SAFE Ireland was represented and participated in the following committees:

  • National Steering Committee (NSC) on Violence Against Women
  • National Steering Committee Public Awareness Sub Committee
  • National Steering Committee Legal Issues Sub Committee
  • COSC One Stop Shop Committee
  • HSE Oversight Implementation Committee
  • HSE Training Committee
  • HSE Standardisation Committee
  • HSE Service User Involvement Committee
  • Mayo Childrens Initiative
  • Sonas/ Dun Laoghaire Refuge Feasibility Study Advisory Group
  • Akidwa FGM Health Forum

In 2010 SAFE Ireland made the following presentations:

  • Presentation to COSC ‘A Changing Landscape: Strategic Service Development in Ireland’
  • Presentation to HSE Standardisation Committee ‘A Changing Landscape: Strategic Service Development in Ireland’
  • Presentation to HSE Service User Involvement Group: Centre Staging Women and Children in Service Development: Outcome Evaluation
  • Participation on Boston College Exchange Programme
  • Presented at Corporate Community Conference ‘Rock and a Heart Place’

2009

2009

In 2009 SAFE Ireland was represented and participated in the following committees:

  • National Steering Committee (NSC) on Violence Against Women
  • National Steering Committee Public Awareness Sub Committee
  • National Steering Committee Legal Issues Sub Committee
  • Sonas/ Dun Laoghaire Refuge Feasibility Study Advisory Group
  • Akidwa FGM Health Forum

In 2009 SAFE Ireland made the following presentations:

  • Presentation at WAVE Conference in Vienna ‘Update of quality standards in women’s services’

2008

2008

In 2008 SAFE Ireland was represented and participated in the following committee:

  • National Steering Committee (NSC) on Violence Against Women
  • National Steering Committee Public Awareness Sub Committee
  • National Steering Committee Legal Issues Sub Committee
  • Sonas/ Dun Laoghaire Refuge Feasibility Study Advisory Group
  • Women’s Health Council Research Advisory Committee
  • HSE Standardisation of Pay and Conditions National Working Group
  • Akidwa FGM Health Forum

In 2008 SAFE Ireland made the following presentations:

  • 1st World Conference of Women’s Shelters (Canada) Plenary ‘What Women Wanted and What they Received from Shelter: Findings from the United States and Ireland’. Click here to see presentation >>
  • Scottish Women’s Aid: Think Globally, Act Locally – End domestic abuse by tackling gender inequality. ‘Domestic Violence Services and Outcome Evaluation in Ireland’. Click here for further details >>

2007

2007

In 2007 SAFE Ireland was represented and participated in the following committee:

  • National Steering Committee (NSC) on Violence Against Women
  • National Steering Committee Public Awareness Sub Committee
  • National Steering Committee Legal Issues Sub Committee
  • Women’s Health Council Research Advisory Committee
  • HSE Standardisation of Pay and Conditions National Working Group
  • Mayo Children’s Initiative