Housing crisis having huge impact on rise in domestic violence cases

09 December 2022

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said today (Friday 9th December) the housing crisis is having a huge impact on people trying to escape domestic violence situations.

Commenting on the 9% increase in reported incidents of domestic abuse to Gardaí in 2022, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“It is encouraging that more people have the confidence and the courage to come forward to report domestic abuse to the Gardai. It is the right thing to do and the only way we can truly stamp out toxic behaviour. For too long, too many people have suffered in silence and our solidarity goes out to the 50,000 people in these desperate situations. The reality is the housing crisis is having a huge impact on preventing people from fleeing domestic violence and abuse and more needs to be done to protect these extremely vulnerable people. Pressures on the refuge spaces are exacerbated by the housing crisis which means many women cannot transition out of refuges to more permanent accommodation. This is unacceptable and can re-traumatise many victims and their children.

“There needs to be a whole of society approach to tackling the scourge of domestic abuse and the current Government plan falls short. For a start, we believe that workers experiencing domestic violence should have ten days statutory leave available to them where necessary, as one of a range of targeted measures needed to address domestic, sexual and gender based violence. People seeking to escape abusive situations must be able to stay in their jobs, not just for financial independence and security but to have access to workplace support and networks.”

“Domestic abuse and violence is a major social issue and is everyone’s business. We all can and must play an active role in eliminating it. That starts in the classroom with the help and guidance of our teachers who are trained in recognising the signs of potential domestic violence in the home, by respecting each other and by challenging blind eye culture.”

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