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Domestic Violence Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 November 2018

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Ceisteanna (534)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

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.

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