Core funding cut for domestic violence support service


SAFE IRELAND, the national body representing domestic violence refuges and services, has had its core funding cut by 100 per cent.

Sharon O’Halloran, director of the organisation, confirmed yesterday that the HSE had notified the board “a few week’s ago” that its core funding – €391,000 this year – would be cut in full from January 1st, 2012.

“They say they are going to use the money instead to commission a number of pieces of work towards the implementation of their action plan on domestic violence.”

Safe Ireland represents and works with 20 refuges and 21 domestic violence support services. It does research, carries out an annual audit of how many women and children are using refuges, develops policy and provides an independent critical voice for the sector on policy and strategy issues.

Its funding was cut from €500,000 in 2009, to €414,000 in 2010 and to €391,000 this year.

“We also provide support to service providers in terms of networking, sharing resources and service development.

In its last count, carried out on November 4th, 2010, 555 women and 324 children accessed domestic violence supports. On the same day there were 140 helpline calls from women.

Ms O’Halloran said the closure of Safe Ireland would mean the loss of a significant investment of time, energy and money in the development of an intelligent network of service providers.

Meanwhile, Ireland has become the first country in the developed world to explicitly state a duty of care to women victims of gender-based violence in their countries of origin in the developing world.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore, along with former president, Mary Robinson, yesterday published Ireland’s national action plan on implementing the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1325, on women, peace and security.

The plan sets out how Ireland will promote the resolution’s objectives, which calls for an increased participation of women in peace processes, the protection of women and girls and armed conflict, the recognition of the link between conflict and gender-based violence.