Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Department of Health and Children
Violence Against Women
Question 138: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the fact that services in Mayo for women who are victims of domestic violence are at breaking point as there has been no increase in funding to the services since 2002 and that this persistent underfunding is hindering service providers from developing long-term plans; if she will consider the provision of guaranteed funding for the Mayo Women's Refuge Centre to allow it provide services in a planned way; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8184/05]
Question 139: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the fact that victims of rape and sexual assault from north Mayo are at a major disadvantage in receiving counselling for their trauma in comparison to the rest of the county, because of the lack of a full-time Rape Crisis Centre in the region; the inability of the Rape Crisis Centre, based in Castlebar, to open a second centre in Ballina because of lack of guaranteed adequate funding as a result of which victims of sexual violence in the area are being deprived of the services that could assist them in recovering from their terror; if she will provide funding to allow for the opening of a centre in Ballina; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8185/05]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 138 and 139 together.
The national steering committee on violence against women was established following the report of the task force on violence against women in 1997. Its purpose is to provide a multidisciplinary, multi-agency and cohesive response to the problem of violence against women and it is chaired by the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
My Department does not directly fund or co-ordinate health and personal social services to victims of abuse. Moneys are made available each year, formerly through the health boards, and now through the Health Service Executive, for the provision of services to women victims of violence. In recent years there has been a substantial increase in funding so that now over €12 million is provided annually for the provision of such services. The distribution of this funding is now a matter for the Health Service Executive.
I have asked my Department, together with the Health Service Executive, to undertake an analysis of the current level of service provision in this area with a view to planning future service needs.