Catherine Connolly TD has criticised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, saying that he has presided over a budget which ignores the seriousness of domestic violence in Ireland.
The Independent TD made her points in the Dáil, however she pointed out that it was not the first time she has raised the issue.
“Almost four months ago to the day, I used my time durie Leaders’ Questions to raise the very serious issue of domestic violence. More specifically, I raised the failure of the Government to provide funding of approximately €1 million to review the groundbreaking study that was carried out in 2002, indicating over 3,000 victims of violence generally,” she said.
This week, government ministers have reiterated their view that a new study is unnecessary.
“Since then, the Taoiseach has presided over a budget that utterly failed and fails to grasp the seriousness of the issue or make any provision to deal with the extent of domestic violence and its pervasive and detrimental effect not only on women and children but also on society at every level.
“Simultaneously, the Taoiseach has provided €5 million for a strategic communications unit. He did so notwithstanding the urgent representations from SAFE Ireland, which represents over 30 organisations on the ground that are more than familiar with the catastrophe owing to violence generally, particularly domestic violence. It pointed out that 4,831 requests for a safe place or refuge – a massive number – were refused last year.
“It pointed out that we are dealing with the tip of the iceberg, and that 79% of women do not report abuse. It pointed out that there is no such thing as a typical victim. Domestic violence affects those of every social class, age and level of education.
“It pointed out that domestic violence is rarely a once-off event. One in every three women experiences severe psychological violence, and over 12,500, comprising almost 10,000 women and approximately 3,000 plus children, attended for a safe refuge. The organisation also pointed out that there is a serious lack of safe havens,” Catherine Connolly added.