Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Domestic Violence Refuges Provision
262. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if a refuge centre for victims of domestic abuse will be established in counties Cavan and Monaghan in 2021; the progress to date in reviewing emergency accommodation nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17931/21]
The response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a cross Departmental and multi-agency issue. Policy is coordinated by the Department of Justice. Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of DSGBV. Capital funding for approved housing bodies, including services that provide refuge accommodation for victims of DSGBV, is provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for Government sets out a number of commitments regarding DSGBV, including an audit on segmentation of DSGBV responsibilities across government departments and agencies, and a Third National Strategy on DSGBV, which will inform future investments in this area.
Tusla is also undertaking a review of emergency accommodation nationwide. This will assess the current and requisite distribution of safe emergency accommodation. The review's initial findings will be discussed with the Monitoring Committee of the Second National Strategy on DSGBV on the 31st March. The report, due for publication in Q2 2021, will examine where the underlying need for services is most concentrated, with regard to the current geographical location of existing services and the demographic profile of service users. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to anticipate what the report may contain, in advance of its publication.
The Tusla review, recommendations of the Monitoring Committee for the Second National Strategy on DSGBV, and the audit of responsibility for DSGBV will all inform Tusla's future decisions on priority areas for investment and development of services.
It is of the utmost importance that the needs of those who experience domestic violence are met in the most appropriate way possible. I, along with my colleagues in government, am committed to ensuring future service provision is evidence based and designed to meet the holistic needs of individuals who experience domestic violence.