Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD has today called for clarity following an announcement from the Minister to provide an additional 82 refuge spaces for victims of domestic violence. The commitment comes after the launch of a report by TUSLA into accommodation for victims of domestic violence.
Speaking from Leinster House today, Teachta Kenny said:
“The state currently has only 140 refuge spaces, including nine counties without a refuge. While I absolutely welcome the Ministers commitment to immediately release these 82 beds, we have no clear timeline of what that immediacy is.
“Will it be in the next week, the next month, or the next quarter?
“The Istanbul Convention says there should be one family place for every 10,000 of population, but this state is only delivering around 30% of these currently.
“And that is not from a lack of trying by those working on the frontline to provide women and children a safe place away from their abuser.
“As part of a recent Parliamentary Question I posed to the Minister, it was disclosed to me that the Department of Justice spends less than €1m per year on refuge support across the state. That is a critical failure in the Department funding model and it must be rectified.
“We need clear timelines from the Minister on her plans, and we need to see a prioritisation of the counties with no refuge as a matter of urgency.”