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Domestic Violence Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 November 2018

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Ceisteanna (534)

Brendan Smith


534. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide detailed consideration to the issues raised by an organisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49297/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I thank the Deputy for his question. The issues raised by the organisation to which the Deputy refers are indeed concerning. 

Domestic violence is a wide-reaching, complex issue, and its effects overlap with the work of many Government Departments. The particular issues raised in the Deputy's question refer to the availability of long-term housing, the availability of grants to offset hardship, and the rate of maintenance payments. These issues fall under the remit of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government; the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection; and the Department of Justice and Equality respectively. As such, my Department does not play a leading role on any of these issues. 

Policy in relation to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence is under the remit of Cosc, The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which is an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality. Cosc also coordinates the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (2016-2021).

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, whether in the context of the family or otherwise. Accordingly, Tusla has provided funding for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services since its foundation in 2014. This includes rape crisis centres and community-based counselling services for victims of sexual violence, emergency refuge accommodation for victims of domestic violence and community-based domestic violence services. Tusla works, and will continue to work, with statutory and non-statutory stakeholders in relation to the barriers faced by individuals and families to finding a lasting, safe home following experiences of domestic violence. These barriers may include, but are not limited to the issues raised in the Deputy's question.

I am pleased that in my time as Minister, the resources available to Tusla for these services have increased by €4.7m, representing an increase of over 20% in a three year period.