Heightened risk of domestic violence in during Covid lockdown
Victims of domestic violence or coercive control are exempt for the 5km Level 5 lockdown rule if the home is not the safest option, according to Laois Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan.
The former Miniter for Justice also reminded people that essential services are open to support them throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The very place we have all been asked to stay because of Covid-19 – 'home' – may not be the safest option for some people," he said.
He reiterated the message of the Government’s Still Here campaign.
“The message I want to communicate is clear: if your home isn’t safe, support is still here. You are allowed to travel outside your 5km and help is available to you. Domestic violence services throughout the country are open and operating.
“Domestic abuse is a violent, psychological and deeply personal crime, and it continues to be one of the biggest threats to women and children during this pandemic. Last week, we saw the publication of Safe Ireland’s report Tracking the Shadow Pandemic. The report highlighted the continued threat of domestic abuse during Covid-19.
“I also want to say, unequivocally, to all abusers that the rigours of the law are also 'still here'. There is nowhere for perpetrators to hide," he said.
The TD added that in his previous role as Minister for Justice & Equality, he worked with organisations such as Safe Ireland, Rape Crisis Centre, Women’s Aid and introduced major initiatives. to combat domestic and sexual violence such as the Domestic Violence Act 2018 and Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2019. He said he is committed to working with domestic violence outreach organisations and support services to continue improvements in the area.
The TD added that an increase of €2.7 million was announced as part of Budget 2021 to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
More on the Still Here campaign here