Government must do more to protect domestic violence survivors

24 April 2024
  • Domestic violence victims forced into homelessness
  • Ireland falls short of European standards.

Labour’s Justice Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD has expressed grave concern where domestic abuse survivors are being forced into homelessness or back into the hands of their abusers due to a severe shortage of refuge spaces across Ireland.

As reported by Ellen Coyne in today’s Irish Independent, refuges all over the country report cases where women and children are enduring extreme danger, with some survivors feeling compelled to return to their abusive partners to avoid homelessness.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“It is utterly heartbreaking to hear that vulnerable individuals and families are being left without adequate refuge and support, facing the impossible choice between homelessness and returning to their abusers. The housing crisis continues to impact across every level in our society, particularly those who are most vulnerable like victims of domestic violence.

“No person should feel trapped under the same roof as an abuser, yet that is the sad reality for many victims of domestic abuse in this country.

“Ireland’s failure to provide sufficient refuge spaces fails these victims, and perpetuates a cycle of violence and trauma.

“While Labour welcomed the establishment of Cuan, the Government’s plan falls short of addressing the urgent need for refuge spaces.

“Victims of domestic violence deserve better than inadequate measures that leave them vulnerable and unprotected. Minister McEntee must prioritise the safety and well-being of those affected by domestic abuse by immediately increasing refuge spaces nationwide.

“We in Labour have long campaigned for more refuge spaces in each county to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse, enabling them to stay in their communities with the support of friends and family. We know we fall below European standards for refuge spaces. Minister McEntee must provide Cuan with the necessary resources to act swiftly and ensure that no one is left without a safe haven during times of crisis.”

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