Frontline services in Donegal combating domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are to receive funding of €253,000.
The funding is part of a €1.5M in extra support for services nationally this year. It will support services in the Donegal area in 2019.
Fine Gael local election candidate for the Milford Electoral Area Eimer Friel said: “The Government is committed to tackling sexual violence in Ireland and providing strong supports for victims. This extra funding across the country – including for here in County Donegal – is most welcome today. It will help support the work of counsellors particularly in rural communities here.
“It is vital that those suffering domestic, sexual and gender based violence receive the frontline services they need and that those who perpetrate such crimes are pursued to the fullest extent of the law.”
Evelyn Sweeney, the Fine Gael candidate in Glenties Electoral Area said: “The Government ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on March 8th which is International Women’s Day.
“The Convention creates a legal framework and approach to combat violence against women and is focused on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders.
“I am pleased to see the Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre receive increased funding of €253,000 this year to continue its vital work. This is an increase on last year and an increase on the €168,000 funding in 2017.”
Eimer Friel agreed, saying “I am pleased to see Government funding increase again this year. I want to pay particular tribute to Minister Katherine Zappone for her continued support for local and national services.”
Minister Zappone said: “As Minister I have seen at first hand the invaluable work of frontline agencies supporting women and children targeted by domestic, sexual and gender based violence. I have also listened to the voices of those forced out of their homes by threats, abuse and violence.
“Their views have informed the decisions which have been taken in order to provide better information, supports and protections. With the increase in funding we will address shortfalls and gaps in services which have been identified.
"We all have a role to play in ensuring the safety of those forced to flee an abusive partner, often with their children. The funding I am now confirming is being directly targeted at frontline services.”
So what is the Istanbul Convention?
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, otherwise known as the Istanbul Convention, was ratified by Ireland on March 8, 2019 (International Women’s Day).
The Istanbul Convention is a significant legal instrument. Some of its main aims are:
- to protect women against all forms of violence;
- to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence;
- to contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women;
- to promote substantive equality between women and men, by empowering women;
- to design a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of and assistance to all victims of violence against women and domestic violence
In Ireland, the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence is a cross-Government strategy under the remit of Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Cosc is an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality. The main aims of the Strategy are:
- to change societal attitudes to support a reduction in domestic and sexual violence;
- to improve supports available to victims and survivors;
- to hold perpetrators to account in order to create a safer Ireland.
Tusla works with government departments and state agencies towards meeting Ireland’s obligations under the Istanbul Convention and the Second National Strategy. Tusla will continue to utilise resources to meet these obligations, including:
- resourcing of the 24 hour national helplines for domestic and sexual violence (including 24/7 access to translation services),
- addressing disparities in geographical coverage of services,
- delivering additional services to targeted groups at risk, particularly those in areas with identified need,
- providing access to dedicated supports for all children in refuges, including access to and the provision of therapeutic programmes,
- establishing two additional regional hubs for men experiencing domestic violence.
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