June 18, 2024
Women and children fleeing domestic violence must have access to the supports they need – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has called for urgent action to end domestic violence.

Her comments follow the publication of a report by Women’s Aid outlining that last year it received the highest level of domestic abuse disclosures in its fifty-year history.

The more than 40,000 disclosures of abuse against women and children in 2023 amount to a jump of 18% on the previous year.

Speaking in the Dáil, Teachta McDonald said:

“The findings of the Women’s Aid report demand that government responds with a level of urgency, pace, and ambition to match the scale of the crisis we face.

“The Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence must be fully resourced. The Ombudsman for Children must be granted funding to participate in the strategy.

“The establishment of the dedicated agency on domestic violence is welcome but it must be made fit for purpose and have the autonomy to address the crisis effectively.  

“As an immediate step, government must now solve the deficit in the provision of shelters. Nine counties still have no shelter. Meaning that women and children desperately seeking escape, end up staying in or returning to violent and abusive homes.

“Domestic Abuse Service providers have been underfunded for decades. Strategy and investment must turn the tide to ensure women and children fleeing domestic violence have access to refuge and to the wrap-around supports they need.”

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