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06 Jul 2022

'Urgent' call made for Laois domestic violence refuge

Rise in reports of domestic violence in 2019 and during Covid-19 emergency

None in Laois or Offaly

Funding must be made available urgently to provide domestic violence refuges in both Laois and Offaly, according to Eoin Barry Labour Party activist in Laois. 

The former said women and children experiencing domestic violence need access to refuge as a place of safety. He said this should be local so that people can access support when and where they need it.  

“It is simply unacceptable that women and children experiencing domestic violence cannot access a refuge in either Laois or Offaly. Too many promises have been broken and too many women and children have been left without the services they need. 

“Throughout the pandemic there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of domestic violence. This has lead to a significant increase in the number of people seeking support of domestic violence services. 


“Almost two years on from the start of the pandemic and little has been achieved. Last year there were over 57,000 calls to domestic violence helplines. However services cannot meet demand and Women’s aid reported that they had to turn away two thirds of those who requested emergency accommodation. 


“No one seeking support in these circumstances should be turned away. This needs commitment and delivery from the government. People requiring refuge in Laois and Offaly have had to wait for too long, this needs a response from government that matches the urgency of this issue," he said.

The former local election candidate said domestic violence is a serious and pervasive issue in Irish society. He said almost one in three women in Ireland will experience domestic violence in the lives. He added that it has a significant impact on the physical and mental health of the victims and a devastating impact on the children involved. 

 

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