Seanad debates

Monday, 8 March 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Domestic Violence

10:30 am

Photo of Mary Seery KearneyMary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Guím Lá Idirnáisiúnta na mBan sona do chách. I thank the Minister for coming to the House and wish everyone a happy International Women's Day.

The most recent report to the Dublin city joint policing committee shows a marked increase in cases involving domestic violence. On the one hand, I am pleased that if the figures to the Garda are increasing, it shows more people are reporting domestic violence. What I believe is happening, however, is an overall increase in people suffering domestic violence and, consequently, we have an increase in the numbers supplied by the Garda.

Despite it being International Women's Day, I acknowledge that domestic violence is not only a female issue. Men, trans and non-binary people also suffer domestic violence. While I do not know the specific statistics for Ireland, I have been privy to a number of conversations and representations that would demonstrate that a trans of non-binary person in a relationship is disproportionately vulnerable to domestic violence or intimate partner violence.

Based on the figures I do know, women are statistically more likely to be attacked and abused repeatedly in their own home, more likely to be subjected to abuse and coercive control, and more likely to be killed by their partner or former partner. This is not news and I welcome the steady increase in funding we have seen over recent years. The response, certainly during Covid, has been very impressive and welcome, and the most recent budget has been fantastic as well. However, no matter how good we are doing and how much our funding is being increased, if it is not being targeted and is not being monitored, reviewed and constantly assessed, we are not doing enough to ensure it is going where it should be and that it is being targeted at the right groups. Do we look into our souls and believe we are doing enough? I congratulate the Minister on all that has been done, but until we start seeing figures drop, there is always much more to do and we will never have done enough.


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