Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provides funding and coordination supports to some 59 organisations that deliver a range of services for victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence throughout the country. 22 of these organisations provide emergency accommodation for victims of domestic violence.
In 2019, €25.3 million is being allocated to Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence services, an increase of €1.5 million over 2018.
With these additional resources, Tusla will be able to provide five additional emergency family accommodation units in South Dublin by the end of Quarter 3, 2019, with the opening of a new domestic violence refuge. The refuge will accommodate 5 adults and up to 15 children.
Other initiatives facilitated by extra resources in 2019 are:
- A 10% increase in funding to sexual violence services,
- 12 new outreach workers for women and children affected by domestic violence to improve access to support and services,
- The national roll out of a 12 week healing programme for children who have been impacted by domestic abuse,
- A specific initiative to reduce the waiting times for counselling for victims of sexual violence.
With regard to the future provision of additional refuge spaces, it should be noted that the responsibility for capital investment in new refuges falls under the remit of a number of Government bodies. Tusla is in contact with funded organisations in relation to proposed new developments, with plans underway in a number of areas for additional refuge spaces. These plans are at various stages.
Any additional funded developments will be informed by Tusla’s review of emergency refuge accommodation nationwide, and the identified needs of service users throughout the country.
I have requested Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy with regard to the total number of domestic violence refuge units and refuge spaces nationally.