Waterford election hopeful says domestic abuse victims are being failed by state agencies
Women’s Aid published their annual impact report last Wednesday in Dublin and a Waterford election candidate has said women and abuse victims are being let down by state agencies.
"It has starkly highlighted how women and children who have suffered domestic abuse are further let down by the Irish State and its agencies," Sinn Féin local election candidate for Waterford City East Michael Doyle said of the findings.
“I find it deeply worrying that women particularly and in many cases with their children, after suffering domestic abuse, further encounter failures in the justice system, the courts and child protection services."
“Lack of access to refuge and long term supports, custody and access, provision of safe supervised child contact centres, failures of the family law process, improving protection and services for children leaving violent settings and the need to hear children’s voices in court hearings are all issues which have been highlighted in the report," he added.
“What is outlined amounts to an almost double abuse of women and children who have suffered very traumatic experiences before seeking support from the State."
“We need a comprehensive review of our approaches and strategies when dealing with women and children who have suffered domestic abuse."
“Sinn Féin proposes increased funding for domestic violence refuge, step down & support services €60m by 2021 and the establishment of a child contact centres network."
“These supports need to be rolled out in every local authority area throughout Ireland and additional emergency places allocated on this basis."
“We also believe Tusla should begin collecting data on women and children who are using domestic violence refuges and step down accommodation on a month by month basis and this data should be included in the monthly Department of Housing homeless figures," he continued.
“These proposals would certainly offer women and children who have suffered abuse hope for the future and the opportunity to move on from their abusive experiences,” concluded Doyle.
If anyone reading this is experiencing abuse in their current relationship, they should visit www.womensaid.ie, call Women’s Aid at 1800 341 900 or in crisis situations call emergency services at 112 or 999.