Dublin: No Room At Refuges For Battered Women and Their Children

28 Sep

The number of desperate victims of domestic violence refused emergency accommodation jumped by more than a third last year.

Safe Ireland said women and children looking for safety were turned away 3,236 times in 2010, up 38%, because refuges were either full or unavailable in their area.

Safe Ireland said women and children looking for safety were turned away 3,236 times in 2010

More than 100 calls a day – 38,629 in total – were also made to helplines during the year.

Sharon O’Halloran, director of Safe Ireland, which represents 39 frontline domestic violence services, said the real pressure point was the number of times women could not be accommodated immediately.

“These women and their children are the tragic fallout of Ireland’s abject and consistent failure to meet European minimum requirements for refuge,” she said.

“When a woman leaves her house with her children, often in the middle of the night, she should expect to be accommodated safely behind the first door she knocks on. While accommodation is found for all women who come to a refuge, if it is not immediately available, it only prolongs the stress and anxiety of the situation.”

Ms O’Halloran said Ireland had just one third of the refuge capacity recommended by the Council of Europe.

With budget cutbacks, essential new refuges are not opening and existing refuges are finding it more difficult to maintain their services, she added.

“Refuge accommodation is not just about getting a roof over your head,” Ms O’Halloran continued.

“Our refuge and support services are staffed by professionals who have over 30 years experience in providing for the physical, mental and emotional needs of women and children leaving abuse.”


Women seeking refuge against domestic violence could not be accommodated over 3,000 times last year, a 38% increase year-on-year. 

More seeking refuge from domestic violence

There were over 3,000 occasions last year when women and children seeking refuge against domestic violence could not be accommodated, according to figures released today.

In its annual report SAFE Ireland, the national organisation for 39 frontline domestic violence services says it has reached ‘tipping point’.

There was a 38% increase in the number of unavailable domestic violence refuges, compared to 2009 – a total over 3,236 occasions.

Throughout the year, 7,235 women in total received support from domestic violence services.

Of these, 1,545 women along with 2,355 children lived in refuge for various periods of time.

Despite some refuges doubling the number of women and children accommodated, in many cases those seeking safety were forced to return to home.

SAFE Ireland has said the figures are just the tip of the iceberg and has called on the Government to help break the cycle of domestic violence.

Keywords:  domestic abuse, safe ireland, womens’ refuge

Safe Ireland Domestic Violence Services – Creating Safety …

SAFE Ireland is the only … 2009 Speaking at the launch of ‘Safety and Change’ A national study of the needs and outcomes for women accessing refuges in Ireland, …

www.safeireland.ieCached & www.safeireland.ie


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