Safe Ireland welcomes the final publication of the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (DSGBV) and calls for a commitment to adequate resourcing of the measures to ensure full and complete implementation over the next five years.
Speaking after today’s launch by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, CEO of Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott, commended the Minister’s sustained commitment to confronting violence against women, and her endeavours to implement meaningful legislative and structural change.
“Whilst Ireland is behind other jurisdictions in responding to DSGBV, this strategy moves us further towards meeting our full obligations under the Istanbul Convention. Significantly, there is a greater focus on the prevention of violence; an acknowledgement of children as victims in their own right and a recognition of the importance of community and frontline response capacity. Crucially, the commitment to establish an integrated whole-of-government national response through the creation of a new statutory agency is a most welcome progression. These advancements will provide the groundwork for ambitious work into the future”
Safe Ireland also welcomes other measures in the strategy including a commitment to developing a National Services Delivery Plan with a move towards a multi-annual funding model for Domestic Violence Services; targets to redress refuge deficits alongside a range of other types of accommodation such as safe houses and sanctuary schemes; comprehensive provision for training of a range of professionals including court assessors; measures to enhance community engagement in responding to violence against women; and a commitment to co-design of initiatives in partnership with the Domestic Violence Sector and specialist experts.
The new strategy is positioned to build on the learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns which paradoxically exposed both the prevalence of domestic abuse across the country and a national desire to respond and prevent it. The ‘double pandemic’ revealed the under-resourcing of our response infrastructures which suffered severe strain, especially at frontline level. Domestic violence refuges became congested as ‘move-on’ options were closed off, while demand for these services increased. Incidents of femicide and familicide continued to make headlines culminating in the overwhelming public response to the murder of Aisling Murphy. It is imperative that neither the political will, nor the social capital generated by these events, is squandered. This Strategy must deliver outcomes which prompt significant social change. Ireland has capacity for such change. It is imperative that the implementation of the Strategy is comprehensively resourced. This will require attention to developing physical and service infrastructure; prevention, protection, and prosecution protocols; social services; expertise and data collection. Safe Ireland will continue to call for large-scale systematic structural response to DSGBV in Ireland.
About Safe Ireland
Safe Ireland is the national development and co-ordination body working to eradicate Domestic Violence (DV). We have four distinct functions: investigating the causes and effects of coercion and violence based on sex, gender, and sexuality, particularly against women and against children; delivering frontline refuge, support, and outreach services; developing best practice guidelines for skilled community-led domestic violence response; and influencing civil society and national strategic policy. This is achieved through our network of affiliated independent frontline DV services as well as working directly with local communities; professionals; public bodies; academic institutions; philanthropists; and corporate partners.
For further information, comments or interview requests with Mary McDermott CEO please contact
Aoife Langdon | Email: email@example.com Tel | 087 977 1196