Domestic Violence Costing the Economy More than Previously Thought

Agency urges politicians to keep watch for vital investments that can transform women’s lives

Safe Ireland, the national agency working to eradicate domestic violence in Ireland, delivered a Budget Watch to all TDs and Senators today, to urge them to monitor Budget 2019 for the delivery of five essential measures of care and progress for women and children living with violence.

The agency said that the minimum additional investment needed in 2019 to address the urgent needs of victims of domestic violence is €35 million. The agency now knows, from new research currently being carried out with NUI Galway, that is just a tiny fraction of the enormous estimated annual cost of domestic violence to the economy every year.

Up to now, the often-cited figure on economic costs for domestic violence is €2.2 billion a year.  This is based on a 2006 Council of Europe study which looked at costs across areas like policing, health bills, lost productivity and court proceedings.

New Safe Ireland/NUI Galway research on the estimated cost of domestic violence in Ireland is indicating that the cost could actually be far greater than previously thought.  The research is looking at the economic and social costs of domestic violence across three phases of a survivor’s journey, from living within the abusive relationship to relocation and recovery. 

“Domestic violence is more than a human rights violation and public health issue, By exploring its wider economic and social impact, we highlight the often invisible or ignored consequences for individuals, households, the community and society,” said Dr. Caroline Forde, Researcher at the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway.

Safe Ireland called particularly for a specific, ring-fenced allocation of €15 million in the housing budget to fund and target initiatives to support women and families to access stable housing.  It is widely acknowledged that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. 

“It’s really easy maths.  If you allocate adequate and targeted resources to prevention and support for survivors of domestic violence, you save lives, restore futures and save billions,” Caitriona Gleeson, Programme Manager with Safe Ireland said.  “If you don’t address it and work around the edges as we have done for decades in Ireland, it continues to cost us all and leaves women and children at greater risk of revictimisation, trauma and poorer life outcomes.”

Safe Ireland said that Ireland now has some of the most ground-breaking and progressive legislation in the world designed to protect and support survivors of domestic violence.  However, legislation has to be backed up by adequate and targeted funding if it is to make a difference to people’s lives, it said.

 

Five Measures of Care and Progress in Budget 2019

 

1.     Safe Homes: Specific ring-fenced allocation of funding and targeted initiatives for survivors of domestic violence.

Investment Needed:   €15 million

2.     Sustainable Support Services: Increase refuge and support services so that they are accessible throughout the country, upgrade facilities, bring pay and conditions of low paid professionals up to 2018 levels, breaking a pay freeze that has been in place since 2009.

Investment Needed:   €20 million

3.     Training and Awareness: Targeted and specific training and awareness training for frontline responders.

Investment Needed:   €2 million 

4.     Trauma and Recovery: Development of special trauma response service.

Investment Needed:   €8 million

5.     Resource our legislation: Increase resources allocated to justice and victim support services to implement the new DV Act and Victims Directive.

No access to cost of increasing trained personnel across other services

For more information contact:

Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-29395207

 

Applications for bursaries to attend the Safe World Summit now open

Update:  The application process for bursaries to the Safe World Summit is now closed. We are delighted to have been able to respond to over 100 requests to attend the Summit. If you have further queries please contact summit@safeireland.ie

Are you a survivor, responder, supporter or activist who would like to attend the Safe World Summit but you cannot afford the ticket price?

The Safe World Summit happening this October is a once in a lifetime event, designed to bring together thought leaders, innovators, change makers and warriors from across industries, social causes and life experiences to focus on ending violence against women.

We are working to make the Safe World Summit as accessible as possible to a wide audience. We are actively fundraising to make bursaries available to cover the ticket price for the many people who want to attend the full two-day event but are not able to afford to buy a ticket.

To apply for a bursary, please complete this form.

Bursaries will be awarded subject to availability.

The closing date for applications is 10th October at 5pm.

Bursaries are available for those aged 26 and over, who are ordinarily resident in the Republic/Northern Ireland.

We are also working with SpunOut.ie to ensure a high participation of young people at the Safe World Summit. If you are aged between 16 – 25 and would like to attend the Summit please apply through SpunOut.ie who are taking applications. You can find more information here.

Please note that the bursary will only cover the ticket cost to the two-day Summit. It does not include travel, accommodation or food costs.

Safe Ireland partners with SpunOut.ie to invite young people to the Safe World Summit

Safe Ireland is delighted to partner with SpunOut.ie to invite young people from across the country to attend The Safe World Summit. Together we believe it is possible to make our homes and communities free of gender based violence, but we need the help of young people to make this dream a reality.

If you are aged between 16-25 years old, living in Ireland, and would like to attend The Safe World Summit 2018, please click here to apply through SpunOut.ie for a ticket to Summit.

Safe Ireland and SpunOut.ie hope you will join us for this global gathering of thought leaders, innovators, and status quo disruptors, so that together we can understand new ways to heal, build resilience and restore the balance of equality. If you have further questions or concerns please email hello@spunout.ie

World Leading Pioneers and Activists Will Descend on Dublin for International Safe World Summit Next Month

Safe Ireland today announced the line-up of world renowned speakers for its upcoming Safe World Summit, which is seen as one of the most important events on gender equality and ending gender based violence on the global calendar this year.

Safe Ireland also confirmed that it is in close contact with the office of the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MP to secure her attendance at the Dublin Summit.  Ms Sturgeon’s leadership is regarded as being pivotal to the many pioneering cultural and institutional changes that have moved her country closer to eradicating violence against women, in particular partner violence.

The Safe World Summit will take place in just over four weeks’ time on October 22nd and 23rd in Dublin’s Mansion House. The 2018 event follows the highly successful inaugural 2016 Safe Ireland Summit which was credited as a catalyst for many positive developments in Ireland, including the recognition of the offence of coercive control in the new Domestic Violence Act 2018. Safe Ireland is the national social change agency working to make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children.

The Summit will also be attended by Dr Edith Eger, celebrated Holocaust Survivor, Clinical Psychologist and Author of the international and Ireland’s current best-selling book ‘The Choice: Embrace the Impossible.’  This will Dr Eger’s first speaking trip to Ireland and one of a few to Europe.  Other speakers making their first trip to Ireland include survivors and activists Luke and Ryan Hart, whose mother and sister were murdered by their father, and activist Marai Larasi, who accompanied actress Emma Watson to the Golden Globes in recognition of her work for ethnic minority women.

Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland said that many international speakers have made the decision to travel to Dublin because of the emphasis on equality, safety, healing and love central to the Safe World event. Safe Ireland believes that Ireland is ideally placed to play a leading role in re-shaping a world that is safe and equal again.

“Our Summit is happening as a time when we are witnessing a regressive resurgence of domination and fear politics across Europe and the world,” Sharon O’Halloran said. “We know from dark periods of history that fear and domination politics enables abuse of power and control in intimate relationships.”

“At this crucial time, we need to understand more about the links between the global problem of gender based violence and the impact of the trauma it leaves in our homes and communities. We have to develop a whole new world view that is built on equality, tolerance, safety and love.  This means designing and implementing innovative new solutions that address the inequality that is at the root of violence, abuse and fear.  And this must start with addressing violence, dominance, control and fear in the home.”

Safe Ireland said that it is delighted to be partnering with Spunout.ie to ensure that there is active youth engagement throughout the Summit.

“Young people play a particularly important role in ending gender based violence in our communities,” said Kiki Martire, Spunout.ie’s Outreach and Training Officer. “Many grow up with violence themselves and they often lack the same access to support and services as those older than them. And, of course, younger people will be the ones to lead the charge to change our culture and end this violence in the future. This is why SpunOut.ie is particularly excited to bring the young people we engage with to the table this October so that all at the Safe Ireland Summit can learn from their fresh and necessary perspectives.”

Other renowned international speakers include Dr. Riane Eisler, gender equality pioneer and systems scientist, lawyer and author; Lynn Rosenthal, the former White House Advisor to President Barack Obama on Violence Against Women; and Robert Jensen, Professor Emeritus of Journalism and author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men.

For more media information contact: Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207

For more information about the Safe World Summit and to purchase tickets for the two-day event, go to https://www.safeireland.ie/summit/about-safe-world-summit-2018/

 

It’s going to be unforgettable

Here’s a taste of the over 30 speakers confirmed so far for the Safe Ireland Safe World Summit.

Dr Edith Eger, Holocaust Survivor, Clinical Psychologist & Best Selling Author ‘The Choice: Embrace the Possible’

Dr Riane Eisler, Gender Equality Pioneer, Systems Scientist, advocate for caring economies, International Best Seller, Author of groundbreaking books including ‘The Real Wealth of Nations’ and ‘The Chalice and the Blade’

Marai Larasi, Executive Director of Imkaan and Co-Chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (UK), who accompanied Emma Watson to the Golden Globes this year.

Lynn Rosenthal, Former US White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Mona Eltahawy, Award-Winning Columnist ‘Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution’

Robert Jenson, Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Texas, Austin, and author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men.

Helen Walmsley Johnson, Author of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, Columnist and Survivor who experienced coercive control by a “smiling” abuser, twice.

Luke and Ryan Hart, whose mother and sister were murdered by their father, and who have become strong survivor advocates against violence against women.

Insia Dariwala, Award Winning Filmmaker and Activist, Founder of the Hands of Hope Foundation in India, advocate against the abuse of girls and boys and activist against Female Genital Cutting.

Monica Ramirez, Activist, Author, Civil Rights Attorney who has focused her work on ending gender-based violence in the workplace for Latina and immigrant women.

Marsha Scott, Chief Executive at Scottish Women’s Aid

Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University

Winnie M Li, Writer and Activist

Clara Rose Thornton, Spoken Word Artist

Ailbhe Smth, Feminist, Activist and LGBT campaigner, co-director of the Together for Yes campaign to repeal the 8th amendment, leading campaigner for Marriage Equality referendum.

Suzanne Connolly, Survivor and Advocate, who waited 34 years to see her abuser, her adoptive father, sentenced in court.

Kathleen Chada, Survivor and Activist, whose two sons were murdered by their father and who now campaigns through the group SAVE for tougher sentences for perpetrators.

Rebooting the Domestic Violence Revolution

On July 12th 2018, Safe Ireland hosted an event to mark the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act 2018 and to launch Resolve, our new Legal Information and Advocacy Service. 

Criminalising coercive control in the home will help keep women alive but it has to be implemented

Criminalising coercive control represents a coming of age in Ireland’s understanding of domestic violence but it has to be implemented if it is to save lives, a Safe Ireland Seminar looking at new responses for a safer Ireland heard today.

 

Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland, said that the creation of the criminal offence of coercive control in the new Domestic Violence Act 2018 is transformative and will help change culture in Ireland.

 

She welcomed the Government’s commitment to prioritising the commencement of the Act into law.  However, she said that it had to be followed up by three types of further convictions: “Firstly, convictions in courtrooms, crucially, conviction by the State to resource supports and training, and finally, conviction by each one of us to know what role we can play to respond effectively.”

 

She warned that domestic violence is too often escaping the attention of the community and of agencies, including those in social care and policing, because coercive control has not been taken seriously or has been minimised.

 

“For too long we have been having too small a conversation about too big a problem,” she said.  “If you wait for a severe injury before you identify domestic violence, then you are going to miss 98 per cent of cases. Coercive control forces us to focus not only on incidents of physical violence but on the cumulative patterns of abuse and the denial of human rights that is at the core of domestic violence.”

 

Safe Ireland also called on the Government to introduce domestic homicide reviews, to support the implementation of the new Domestic Violence Act, to increase understanding of how we can prevent fatalities. In the UK, coercive control has been recognised as a serious offence since 2015, where research has shown that coercive control was seen in 92% of domestic killings.

 

In addition, it launched Resolve – its new dedicated legal information and advocacy service to support women’s access to justice and the legal remedies soon to be open to them under the new Act.  Safe Ireland noted particularly that more research is needed to understand the responses needed for men experiencing violence in relationships.

 

O’Halloran said that Ireland has to take on the last “sacred” institution in Ireland – the home –  if it was serious about creating a society that is safe and equal for all.

 

“For decades, we have side-stepped, dodged and ducked taking on the last institution in Irish society – the home,” she said.  “Until we commit to this fully, we will not take on domestic violence.  We will continue to focus on the fabrication of danger to women from outside the home, rather than accepting that the real danger is from within.”

 

“This fabrication means that 79% of women do not report the tyrannies they are living in. It means that services are only working with eight to 12 percent of women and children experiencing domestic violence, unable to meet all their needs because they are not resourced to do so.”

 

Coercive control is a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other psychological or emotional abuse that is used to control and limit the freedom of an intimate partner or a family member.

 

In Ireland, one in three (31% or over 470,000) Irish women have experienced some form of psychological violence by a partner, according to a major EU wide study in 2014.  Every year, over 10,000 women and 3,600 children seek support and safety from abusive men.

 

The Seminar also looked at other criminal and civil law considerations and implications within the new DV Act, including the introduction of statutory guidance for judges in making DVA orders and the recognition that violence within intimate relationships is an aggravating factor in sentencing.

 

For more information contact:

Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207

Safe World Summit Early Bird Tickets

Early Bird tickets for the Safe World Summit are now on sale. Priced at €295, these tickets will be on sale until July 31st or until they are sold out.

Don’t delay, get your ticket now!

Safe Ireland Urges Yes Vote on May 25th

Choice at home, close to local specialist dv services is the only safe option for women living in abusive relationships.

Safe Ireland, the national social change agency working to end domestic violence, today said that a yes vote this Friday is the only way to ensure that women living with domestic violence can access safe services when pregnancy is used as a tool of control and abuse.

The organisation which represents 40 domestic violence services across the country, said it was concerned that groups advocating a no vote were incorrectly, and without any evidence, saying that access to abortion in Ireland would put more women at risk in abusive relationships.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland.

“The eighth amendment is inherently unsafe and presents a huge risk for women living with domestic violence,” she said. “The only way to make Ireland a safer country for women is to ensure that there is access to safe, controlled and wrap-around abortion services and supports here at home.”

“If a woman is being forced to have an abortion by a controlling or abusive partner it is going to be far safer for her to have interaction with abortion services here in Ireland rather than travelling overseas,” she continued. “Doctors and nurses here, who may suspect or are told about coercion through pregnancy, can get in touch with specialist domestic violence services here if that is what the patient wants. This essential wrap-around approach is not going to happen if a woman has to go to another jurisdiction, miles from her family, miles from her community and miles from the services that can help her here.”

O’Halloran also said that it was critical to remember that the majority of rape in Ireland occurs within the home, often within violent intimate relationships. She said that currently, if a woman living under coercion and abuse becomes pregnant through rape or if she does not want to proceed with a pregnancy, she has little or no safe options open to her under current provisions.

“How can you travel if your movements and finances are being controlled? How can you risk disclosing that you don’t want to proceed with a pregnancy, even if you have been raped, if you are already under daily violent threat and you are in an overseas environment?” she said.

“It is crucial that we have a sensitive, sensible and safe abortion policy that allows a woman – any woman, anywhere – to, firstly, be supported to decide what she wants to do, and then, if she chooses to terminate her pregnancy, to ensure that she is linked into safe and legal services in her own country.”

For more information contact:

Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207

Safe Ireland Welcomes Momentous Enactment of Domestic Violence Act by President Higgins

President Michael D. Higgin’s signing of the Domestic Violence Bill into law ushers in a safer future for women and children

Safe Ireland said that the signing into law of the new Domestic Violence Act by President Michael D. Higgins last night signalled the start of a safer future for women and children.

The national social change agency working to end domestic violence said that the new Act would now position Ireland as a world leader by providing a robust legislative foundation that recognises and responds to the control and inequality that is at the heart of domestic violence and abuse.

It said that it was very hopeful that the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan would commence the various sections of the Act as soon as possible so that the wide ranging provisions within it will be available for victims of the crime of domestic violence.

“This is ground-breaking and momentous because it means that we will have, for the first time, a robust legislative foundation that recognises and responds to the pernicious pattern of control, dominance, inequality and psychological abuse which is really at the heart of violence within the home,” said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland.

“Significantly, women can be confident that coercive control – a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour – will be recognised as a criminal offence in this country,” she continued. “This, we have no doubt, will help save women’s lives in this country.”

Safe Ireland also said that it was extremely significant that the Act recognises that violence between intimate partners is actually an aggravating offence. This, O’Halloran said, will help eradicate the culture of the past that has minimised violence within the home as “just a domestic or an issue that is a private one only.”

The agency also welcomed the increase in access to court and the introduction of statutory guidance for court orders allowed for within the Act and said that these would ensure greater transparency and consistency for women so reliant on a functioning judicial system.

For more information contact: Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207

Domestic Violence Bill On the Path to Long Anticipated Enactment

Final stage of new Bill brings Ireland one step closer to being one of the safest countries in the world for women, says Safe Ireland­.

Safe Ireland, the national social change agency working to end domestic violence, commended Senators for passing the ground-breaking and radical Domestic Violence Bill 2017 through its final stages in the Seanad today.

The agency, which works with 40 domestic violence services around the country, said that it was extremely hopeful that the Bill could be now signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins by the end of this month. It said that the Bill could help make Ireland one of the safest countries for women and children.

“Effectively, from today, and thanks to the extraordinary collective co-operation of Senators and TDs from all parties, women can be confident that coercive control will be recognised as a criminal offence in this country,” said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland.

“This is ground-breaking because it means that we will have, for the first time, a robust legislative foundation that recognises and responds to the pernicious pattern of control, dominance, inequality and psychological abuse which is really at the heart of violence within the home.”

Safe Ireland also said that it was extremely significant that the Bill recognises that violence between intimate partners is actually an aggravating offence. This, O’Halloran said, will help eradicate the culture of the past that has minimised violence within the home as “just a domestic or an issue that is a private one only.”

The agency also welcomed the increase in access to court and the introduction of statutory guidance for court orders allowed for within the Bill and said that these would ensure greater transparency and consistency for women so reliant on a functioning judicial system.

For more information contact:
Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207