Call to End Violence Against Women in Budget 2024
Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2023
On the anniversary of the publication of the Zero Tolerance Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the National Women’s Council says the implementation of the strategy must be prioritised in Budget 2024
Today (Wednesday) it is a year since the government published its Third National (Zero Tolerance) Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. The National Women’s Council (NWC) are calling for ending violence against women to be a central priority of government in Budget 2024.
The CSO recently published shocking statistics showing the extent of this hidden epidemic – 52% of women experience sexual violence in their lifetimes. Just last week, UCD’s Sexual Exploitation Research Programme published research showing an urgent need to protect girls in care from sexual exploitation and predators. In 2022, Women’s Aid recorded that 12 women died violently (5 women more than the previous year) alongside an increase in calls to their services.
NWC Director Orla O’Connor said:
“The Third National Strategy is groundbreaking in many ways, and its full implementation will be a watershed for women and girls across Ireland. We have very clear evidence that gender-based violence is an issue that cuts right across our society and has devastating consequences for the women and girls affected. That’s why we’re calling on government now to include clear lines in Budget 2024 - so that zero tolerance for violence becomes the norm.”
According to NWC, resources are needed in three key areas. First, it is vital that the Agency is fully funded to carry out its functions, including data collection, and has sufficient funds to properly resource frontline services.
The second is to better integrate the three disconnected legal systems (the Criminal Justice, Family Law, and Child Care processes) so that victims of sexual and domestic violence are not re-traumatised while navigating three separate processes – including a comprehensive system of both court and non-court support for victims, free legal advice for victims and survivors, training for professionals working in these systems, and appropriate physical infrastructure and facilities for separate waiting and consultation rooms for survivors.
The third is to provide appropriate accommodation including refuge spaces to meet demand, so that women are no longer turned away when they try to leave abusive relationships. An integrated approach across government agencies is also needed, particularly around the long-term housing needs of women leaving abusive relationships or exiting the sex trade.
It's particularly important to resource qualitative data collection so that the distinct needs of groups such as disabled women, Traveller women, migrant women, or women in prostitution or addiction, are met.
For comment: Orla O’Connor or Ivanna Youtchak
Find here NWC’s pre-budget submission on violence against women
For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator, 085 8619087 or email@example.com