26 May 2022

Urgent need for Domestic Violence Refuge in Sligo and Leitrim

Urgent need for Domestic Violence Refuge in Sligo and Leitrim

Urgent need for a Domestic Violence Women’s Refuge in Sligo and Leitrim

Marian Harkin TD has  again emphasised the urgent need for a Domestic Violence Women’s Refuge in Sligo and Leitrim. In the Dail, Deputy Harkin stated that she has raised this issue at least four different times on the floor of Leinster House calling for a dedicated refuge for victims of domestic violence in Sligo-Leitrim.

Deputy Harkin outlined that DVAS - the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service in Sligo/Leitrim and West Cavan continues to advocate, if not beg, for a dedicated emergency domestic violence refuge for victims of abuse. “I want to mention the incredible, tireless work that is done by so many different organisations to support victims of domestic abuse like DVAS, Safe Ireland and Women’s Aid. Their advocacy, diligence, and unswerving determination to be there for women and children in violent, abusive, and coercive situations is second to none.

"Their humanity and empathy for those suffering domestic violence is something special to see but they are stretched way way beyond what is reasonable. In my view an essential part of any ongoing strategy to stamp out domestic violence must include proper resourcing of and support for those organisations that stood in the gap with abused women and children when Covid raged,” Deputy Harkin said.

Deputy Harkin pointed out that in 2020 DVAS worked with 226 women in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan and yet they have only three apartments which serve as temporary accommodation for those women and children. ‘These women and children are in real risk of serious trauma, injury, or fatality and they need 24 hour supported, safe emergency services’, she stressed.

Speaking on the broader issue of domestic violence Deputy Harkin said that ‘the provision of refuge services was only one piece of the jigsaw, much more needed to be done, politically, socially and culturally. However, she welcomed the fact that the Irish people were already moving ahead in the right direction where domestic violence was concerned’.

Calling for action she said, ‘it is now up to the politicians to put the infrastructure, supports and legislation in place to underpin a cultural and social revolution in how we prevent and deal with domestic violence and in how to reclaim our public spaces, to make them safe spaces for women’.

Deputy Harkin concluded by saying that the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Deputy O'Gorman, and the Tánaiste, Deputy Varadkar had previously committed to the provision of a domestic violence refuge for Sligo-Leitrim and she asked the Minister for Justice to give a similar commitment and to move immediately on the matter.


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