Three additional emergency accommodation units for victims of domestic violence will be provided in Galway by the end of this year, as part of a €1.5 million investment by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Three extra outreach workers will also be recruited in the coming weeks as part of the investment, which will support women and children who have become victims of domestic or sexual violence.
The announcement was welcomed by local Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, who said she was pleased that frontline agencies that provide vital services to victims were getting the recognition and support they deserve.
“A total of €25.3 million was allocated to combatting domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in 2019, investing in emergency services, healing programmes for children, new refuges, and counselling for victims,” said the Galway West TD.
“The annual investment in these services has continued to grow year-on-year under this Government, although further investment is required in order to ensure that the needs of families affected by domestic violence can be met with compassion and efficiency.
“The struggle to meet demand for emergency refuge accommodation has been an issue in Galway, and I am pleased that today’s allocation will go some way towards addressing that problem,” added Deputy Naughton.
The provision of the extra family units in Galway is part of a €1.5 million investment intended to enhance services and fulfil the country’s obligations under the Istanbul Convention.
The investment will also see funding for an enhanced national domestic violence helpline increased by €72,000, while €30,000 will be used to provide specialist training to improve the response to gender-based violence.
The number of healing programmes for children who have witnessed domestic violence will also be increased and rolled out in all 17 Tusla areas by the end of the year. They are currently available in just seven areas.
“Domestic violence was invisible or ignored in Ireland for far too long, and our response as a society has had to develop and grow rapidly as a result of that neglect,” said Deputy Naughton.
“But we are now putting the services in place to confront the problem and support victims. Today’s announcement of further funding is another step in this regard, and I am confident that it will have a positive impact on vulnerable women and children in Galway,” she concluded.