Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (244)

Gerry Adams


244. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if funding will be provided to increase rape counselling provision in Castleblayney, County Monaghan and County Cavan. [51423/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provides co-ordination, support and funding to 16 services for victims of sexual violence throughout the country. Currently, services for victims of sexual violence in counties Cavan and Monaghan are provided by:

(1) Rape Crisis North East; and

(2) Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre Sligo, Leitrim, and West Cavan.

As part of its commissioning approach to the development of services, Tusla is currently engaged in a needs analysis project in the border region, which includes counties Cavan and Monaghan, to identify gaps in service provision and to prioritise the development of sexual violence services. All future service developments will be informed by the commissioning approach.

Funding for the aforementioned sexual violence services which serve the counties of Cavan and Monaghan has increased by more than €50,000 since 2016.

In recent months, additional funding was provided to the Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre Sligo, Leitrim, and West Cavan to engage the services of two part-time counsellors. Additional funding was also provided to Rape Crisis North East to support its efforts to reduce waiting lists by providing additional counselling hours.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have secured additional funding of €1.5m for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence services in 2019, which will bring total available funding next year to €25.3m.

It is important that the needs of victims and survivors of sexual violence are met in the best way possible. I strongly support the work of Tusla, and I am committed to supporting the Agency in meeting the needs of individuals who experience sexual violence.