Frances Fitzgerald pledges more funds for domestic violence services

Women’s Aid helpline received 12,041 calls about domestic violence during 2015

Women’s Aid director Margaret Martin at the launch of the Impact Report 2015: “We look forward to the restoration of the 30 per cent cut the domestic violence sector has faced.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Women’s Aid director Margaret Martin at the launch of the Impact Report 2015: “We look forward to the restoration of the 30 per cent cut the domestic violence sector has faced.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has pledged to allocate more funds to providers of services to those encountering domestic violence.

“I do recognise how difficult it has been for voluntary organisations during the economic recession and we are now in a better position,” she said as she launched Women’s Aid’s annual report in Dublin yesterday.

“We need to support services and I would expect services working in the area of domestic violence to get more funding. I do believe that it is essential.”

Last year, the Women’s Aid helpline, which has operated a 24-hour service since January, received 12,041 calls.

“What shocks me about the report is how terrible the situation remains. Instances of domestic violence remain so high,” the Minister said.

Ms Fitzgerald said the Women’s Aid statistics for 2015 show that marriage remained the most constant context for domestic violence. Some 42 per cent of women who were abused were abused within marriages. “I think we remain in denial of that,” she said.

She also noted that almost one-quarter of the women who contacted the organisation had been abused by former husbands or partners. “That’s a real wake-up call for Irish society,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

She said that “we have to continue to empower each new generation of young women and young men”.

“You keep thinking the information campaign of the generation before has actually worked, then you have to do it again and again and again. It is an ongoing task for our society.”

Huge challenge

Margaret Martin

“We look forward to the restoration of the 30 per cent cut the domestic violence sector has faced,” Ms Martin said. Women’s Aid national freephone helpline: 1800-341 900