Written answers

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Department of Justice and Equality

Departmental Strategies

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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723. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide a breakdown of the €363 million committed to the five-year period of the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence by Department and year. [37126/22]

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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724. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of the €363 million budgetary allocation committed to the five-year period of the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence that has already been committed to existing current and capital expenditure. [37127/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 723 and 724 together.

As the Deputy is aware, I recently published Zero Tolerance: the Third National Strategy to combat Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV).

The goal of our third national strategy is clear: zero tolerance of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. It is an ambitious five-year programme of reform to achieve a society which does not accept DSGBV or the attitudes which underpin it.

Reflecting the Government’s commitment to make this the most ambitious Strategy to date, and in particular to make a real impact on the provision of refuge units and other associated support services, will require additional expenditure.

The overall cost of implementing the entire Strategy is estimated to be in the region of €363m.

I plan to deliver 141 new units of refuge accommodation on a phased basis at a capital cost estimated at €70.5m and running costs of €33m over the lifetime of the strategy.

Other additional running and development costs (e.g. project management and capacity building supports, current costs for provision of step down facilities and safe homes) are estimated to cost some €10m over the five-year life time of the Strategy.

These figures are in addition to Tusla’s 2022 current funding allocation of €30m per annum for refuges, rape crisis centres and associated helpline services. This equates to €150m over the lifetime of the Strategy.

The Strategy will provide enhanced support for victims within trial and other criminal justice processes, victim awareness and trauma-informed training for front-line and other staff and legal professionals, legal aid for victims, national awareness campaigns and other communications campaigns, and an expansion of existing perpetrator programmes to create a national programme of interventions for men who have been violent. These costs will come to some €74m over the lifetime of the Strategy, of which some €51m is already, on the basis of the 2022 allocations, provided for in my Department’s Vote.

The establishment and running costs of the DSGBV Agency are estimated at €3.5m in a full year or some €11.5m in total over the lifetime of the Strategy.

Finally, the Garda Commissioner has advised that the deployment of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) can play a significant role in the management of domestic violence situations and in gathering evidence for subsequent use in prosecutions. Accordingly, an estimate of €14m has been included to cover the cost of procuring and deploying this equipment.

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