Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
Women's Shelters and Domestic Abuse Refuges: Discussion
I thank the Chairman for facilitating my attendance at the meeting and I thank the witnesses for their contributions. The reason I wanted to attend is that I also represent the constituency of Cavan-Monaghan and I am very aware of the lack of emergency accommodation available to at-risk women in this constituency. It is a large rural constituency which does not have a single refuge. Three staff are employed to assist vulnerable women. Like other speakers, I commend the work they do in the domestic abuse services. One of the main reasons that women or men do not leave abusive relationships is the lack of affordable available accommodation to enable them to be rehoused at short notice. Is there any indication that a refuge will be provided in either Cavan or Monaghan? It would be preferable if there were refuges in both counties. I am conscious that a refuge is not the entire answer and other supports are also needed. I welcome what Ms McDermott said about the initiative being taken in Cavan. I would like to hear more about that.
As other speakers have mentioned, better co-ordination of services is required, preferably under one Department. Do the witnesses have any indication that something like this is being considered? Do they think it can be achieved?