Smyth reiterates call for greater supports for victims of domestic abuse

Published on: 10 February 2022

Deputy Smyth was speaking following an RTÉ Investigates programme which documented the harrowing experiences of victims of domestic abuse.
“Last night's programme was distressing and heartbreaking to watch but it was also an important watch as these courageous women shared their harrowing stories of horrendous abuse.
"2021 saw an increase of 40% in the number of people who contacted the domestic abuse support service. Behind these shocking statistics are real people, many of whom are vulnerable women and children living in constant fear. I know that there are a number of organisations working tirelessly to provide support to the most vulnerable in our society, however, it is clear that those organistaions are stretched and wider supports are required.
"It is paramount that there are robust supports in place so that victims of domestic violence can access the services they need . This includes the delivery of women’s refuge centres right across the country. In Cavan-Monaghan for example, there is little to no provision to assist women trying to leave cases of domestic violence. This must be corrected and is something I have campaigned on for quite some time. In recent months, I have meet with officials from the Department of Housing on this matter and I have been advised that money is available for such a facility.  I have also met with Safe Ireland and Tearmann Domestic Violence services to pave the way for this refuge to be delivered for the women of my constituency.”
“I was proud to support the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Dáil in March 2019. The formal ratification of the Convention committed Ireland to taking measures to prevent violence against women, protecting victims of domestic violence, and prosecuting their perpetrators.  
“Having raised this issue in the Dáil, I know that this Government is committed to combating this type of violence and ensuring that anyone who is a victim of this type of abuse is empowered and supported to seek help but, we now need strong legislation in place to support a robust system that provides a safe haven and refuge for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.
"This crisis requires a joined-up thinking approach and inter-agency co-operation. We require facilities with wraparound supports which recognise the variety of needs and I will continue to campaign for such facilities.''