Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (340)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

340. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of domestic violence to the economy per year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23659/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, last November the Government approved a new national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland and I am pleased to say that the Central Statistics Office have since begun the work on the large scale survey, called the Sexual Violence Survey (SVS), which will look in detail at the experience of sexual violence and abuse for both women and men in Ireland, with repeat surveys every decade which will take up to five years to complete including a full first year of technical research, design, specialist training and preparation this year. The preparatory phase will also involve a stakeholder consultation process, consideration of best international practice and the conducting of a full pilot survey in the field in 2020. 

Following the conclusion of the survey the state will have robust data on the prevalence of sexual violence, which in some cases will relate to such violence which occurs in a  domestic setting. This will inform Government policy and provide some insight into the cost of such violence.

Internationally, the Deputy may be aware that the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has completed a study to identify and recommend appropriate methodologies to measure the cost of gender-based and intimate partner violence in EU-28 Member States. Three main types of costs were identified: lost economic output, provision of services, including health, legal, social and specialised; and the personal (physical and emotional) impact on the victim. The report is structured around these types of costs, providing accounts of the investigations into the methodologies in each of these fields found in the relevant literature.

The EIGE report concluded that its detailed case study would not be easy to replicate in other countries as the data requirements are high. To illustrate the difficulties involved, a Council of Europe Study examined a range of estimates of the cost of gender-based violence. Depending on data and methods used, the lowest cost estimate was just 1.6% of the highest cost estimate, rendering any estimation meaningless in the context of such a broad divergence. I am informed that EIGE concluded that there is currently insufficient available data to robustly cost the impact of intimate partner violence separately for each EU-28 Member State.

My Department has engaged with various EIGE meetings in relation to administrative data on gender-based violence and will continue to do so as practice develops.