Safe Ireland’s Pre-Budget 2023 submission to Government calls for a commitment to a €283m investment in measures across eight government departments to mitigate the impact of violence against women. Increased funding for Domestic Violence Services; additional refuge units; a novel Safe-at-Home Sanctuary scheme; and a waiver of means-testing for both the Exceptional Needs Payment and Free Legal Aid are some of the proposals in the document titled Naming Domestic Violence: Visible Investment for Change.
As the frontline domestic abuse sector emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, it is burdened with the added responsibility of responding to increased demand and the on-going challenge of decades of inadequate investment. Annually the 39 frontline services respond to more than 50,000 helpline calls; provide direct support and advocacy to over 11,000 women and 3,500 children; and offer safe and secure temporary accommodation to over 1,500 women and 3,000 children.
To date, 2022 has been characterised by many high-profile incidences which prompted widespread public and political outrage. These incidences are indicative of an escalating trend in domestic abuse. In 2021 there were 744 breaches of Barring Orders, a year-on-year increase from 514 in 2017. Despite this, and widespread political rhetoric about prioritising violence against women, expenditure commitments to investment in domestic abuse responses were entirely absent from Budget 2022.
“If Government is committed to delivering on the undertaking it gave to respond to violence against women following the murder of Ashling Murphy, then it is imperative that this is evidenced in Budget 2023. The Zero Tolerance national strategy published in June is an ambitious aspiration which can only be actioned with coherent investment across a number of Government Departments and through a statutory agency with adequate resources, reach and responsibility. Budget 2023 is the moment for Government to signal its commitment to zero tolerance of violence against women.”
Safe Ireland also outlines proposals for emergency hotel accommodation until new refuge units are developed; home-tuition for displaced children in refuge; evidence-based research and the collection of robust data to guide future responses; access to permanent housing solutions; a training qualification pathway for practitioners; and community development initiatives to empower communities to effect social change in their localities or amongst their communities of interest. The full submission can be accessed at safeireland.ie
About Safe Ireland
Safe Ireland is a national development and co-ordination body with responsibility for Domestic Violence (DV) which over time has developed four distinct functions: investigating the causes and effects of DV; delivering frontline refuge and support services; developing guidelines for best practice in the delivery of local support services; and influencing national strategic policy. This is achieved by working directly with a range of public bodies; local independent frontline DV services; academic institutions; philanthropists; and corporate partners.
For further information on this statement please contact Miriam Kivlehan Programme & Communication Manager 086 383 6877 | Email: email@example.com