COPE receives funding to progress with city refuge

COPE Galway will receive €1.16 million towards a new domestic violence refuge for Galway city.

The Minister of State for Housing, Jan O’Sullivan, has announced the capital funding for COPE Galway which will enable the charity to provide a refuge for Galway city at the property donated by the Sisters of Mercy Western Province in 2013.

Since then the focus has been to secure the necessary funding to deliver this project which it is estimated will cost in the region of €2.5 million in total.

Welcoming the announcement as excellent news for Galway, Jacquie Horan, CEO of COPE Galway said: “There has long been a need for a new refuge in Galway to accommodate women and children fleeing their homes because of domestic violence. Today’s announcement of €1.16 million in capital funding from the Department of the Environment is a major step on the road to ensure there is a fit for purpose domestic violence refuge for the city and county.”

Violence against women is pervasive and extensive across the EU states according to a survey carried out by the EU fundamental rights agency in 2012. Approximately 26 per cent of Irish women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner or non partner. Organisations working with survivors point to low levels of disclosure by Irish women, a societal resistance to speak out about violence, and a poor response to victims in desperate need of practical, physical, and emotional supports.

This funding is a strong endorsement of the need to improve the response locally, according to Ms Horan. “When women take that very brave step to leave their home with their children and to seek refuge it is only right and fitting that the accommodation they avail of is of the highest standard, and space is available when they come to our door.”

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