Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1197)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1197. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to introduce the necessary legislative or other measures to provide for the setting up of appropriate, easily accessible domestic violence refuge accommodation in sufficient numbers to provide safe accommodation for and to reach out proactively to victims, especially women and their children, as committed to when ratifying the Istanbul Convention. [13291/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of care and protection to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

I am pleased that Ireland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) on the 8 March, 2019 - International Women's Day.

Since taking up office, in 2016, as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have prioritised the development of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (DSGBV) services. This has been reflected in the level of additional funding provided to Tusla for these services which has increased from €22.1 million in 2017 to €25.3 million in 2019.

Additional funding in 2019 will support the development of enhanced domestic, sexual and gender based violence services, including continued implementation of the Istanbul Convention and the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2016 – 2021). I will be meeting with some key stakeholders and Tusla in early April to consider priorities for 2019 funding.

As part of its planning to develop services, Tusla has commenced the process to review domestic violence refuge accommodation provision to meet its obligations under the Istanbul Convention.

Tusla has advised that it has commenced a review of emergency domestic violence accommodation in the Dublin area, which will be completed by Quarter 4, 2019. I expect Tusla to publish the report in due course.

Tusla will continue to work with service providers throughout the country in the provision of resources to victims of domestic violence, including emergency refuge accommodation, non-refuge accommodation, and community supports.