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Domestic Violence

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (78)

Kathleen Funchion


78. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the actions his Department is taking to address the chronic shortage of refuge places who are fleeing domestic violence considering the State is obliged to have 498 refuge places and currently has only 140; the current progress of Tusla’s review into refuge spaces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58934/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a cross Departmental and multi-agency issue. Overall policy is coordinated by the Department of Justice. Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of DSGBV under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013. Capital funding for approved housing bodies, including services that provide refuge accommodation for victims of DSGBV, is provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

I accept that there is a significant shortage in refuge provision at present and am keen to address it but I do not necessarily accept the Deputy's assertion that the State is obliged to have 498 refuge places available.

Tusla’s ‘Review of the Provision of Accommodation for Victims of Domestic Violence’ assesses the current and requisite distribution of safe emergency accommodation. It has examined the current level of refuge provision, evidence of demand for services and unmet need, and analysis of proximity to refuge by local communities. The Review has been completed and is undergoing the final edit for publication. Tusla is expected to publish the Review shortly.

My Department will be guided by the recommendations of the Review. I expect that the implementation process for the Review will identify priority areas where there is greatest urgency in achieving safe accommodation for victims of DSGBV. This process will guide the consideration for refuge spaces over the longer term. Implementation will require collaboration from a range of statutory and other bodies. My Department continues to engage with Tusla, Non-Government Organisations that play a key role in this area, and other relevant Government Departments and Agencies, particularly the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Justice, to progress work in this area. It is important that the needs of those who experience domestic violence are met in the most appropriate way possible.