Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Domestic Violence Refuges Provision
229. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 792 of 8 September 2020, the reason his answer included the standard of one family place per 10,000 women when this is not the standard used in the Istanbul Convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30864/20]
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV).
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (known as the Istanbul Convention) sets out signatory obligations. The Convention does not set out the standard to which the Deputy refers. A policy document "Combating Violence Against Women: Minimum Standards for Support Services", published by the Council, references two standards: either one shelter space per 10,000 head of adult population, or one shelter space per 10,000 head of female population, with specific mechanisms for measuring population and calculation of shelter spaces.
In line with reporting conventions previously used by the Department of Justice, Tusla has applied the latter standard, given that this reflects the community-focused integrated response for victims, where community-based organisations and outreach supports are in place alongside refuges.
A review of domestic violence accommodation, currently underway by Tusla, will examine the capacity of current accommodation for victims of DSGBV and the level of need across the country. The Monitoring Group for the Second National Strategy for Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, led by the Department of Justice, will engage with the findings of the Tusla review. The Monitoring Group includes representatives from the DSGBV sector as well as officials from relevant Government bodies.
Tusla will continue to work with service providers throughout the country in the provision of resources to victims of domestic violence, including emergency refuge accommodation, non-refuge accommodation, and other community supports.