Concerns raised over accommodation for domestic abuse victims

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A number of issues have been raised surrounding the lack of safe and accessible accommodation for domestic abuse victims across the country.

The Oireachtas Justice Committee has ordered that a significant and detailed blueprint needs to be provided soon, in order to put plans in place for long-term accommodation for survivors. 

In a report provided by the committee, it has been suggested that numerous services need to be available for women. “This should include wraparound services, including the provision of safe and transitional housing, emergency crisis housing, therapeutic supports, legal supports, and welfare support,” the committee detailed. 

The report was written with help and suggestions from various domestic abuse agencies, as well as survivors themselves. 

It also recommends that consideration needs to be given to male domestic violence victims, as well as children suffering from the impact of it.

The committee has requested that every county in Ireland should have at least one refuge space for survivors to flee to in safety. 

Currently, there are 10 areas across the country that have no refuge accommodation available. Without safe and long-term accommodation, victims of domestic abuse are unable to move forward in their recovery process.

The report’s witnesses have called for the Department of Justice to amend barring orders and to do more to hold perpetrators of domestic violence to the law, and allow their victims to receive fulfilled justice. 

Heartbreakingly, the witnesses noted that they currently feel as though the barring orders are not sufficient enough to guarantee their safety.

Charities such as Women’s Aid have expressed worries that their funding is constantly uncertain, which is only leading to more stress amongst domestic abuse victims. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Women's Aid (@womens_aid)

Women’s Aid revealed that devastatingly, it must inform two out of three callers to its helpline that they are unable to provide them with accommodation.

Another charity, Saoirse Domestic Violence Services, reported that in 2020, they were unable to provide refuge accommodation to 78% of its users, which equates to 369 domestic violence survivors.

Only time will tell if more funding and accommodation will be granted towards this hugely important issue.

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