Record funding boost to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

Record funding boost to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

Helen McEntee

Government plans to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence will next year benefit from a record 22 per cent funding increase worth around €9 million.

The Department of Justice launched its five-year “zero tolerance” strategy earlier this summer, containing 144 detailed actions to be implemented this year and next.

“Tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence is an absolute priority for me as minister for justice — both providing victim-centred supports and services and ensuring perpetrators are punished,” justice minister Helen McEntee said.

“My zero tolerance plan, published earlier this year, is an ambitious five-year strategy to help achieve zero tolerance in our society for this appalling type of violence and abuse.”

The €9 million package to support implementation of the zero tolerance strategy includes almost €7m in additional funding for Tusla to address existing acute service demands throughout the country, and for investment in new services.

It will also strengthen the nationwide supports and services for victims of crime, provide for targeted awareness raising campaigns and work to establish the new DSGBV statutory agency, which will become fully operational in January 2024.

Noeline Blackwell, human rights lawyer and CEO of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC), said: “Some of this funding will go to meet the shortfall that currently exists for services, but it is very positive to see specific funding for the new agency laid out in the third national strategy.

“Our submission ahead of Budget 2023 highlighted the important work done in our sector and the impact of this funding gap on our work, so we very much welcome the ring-fencing of funds to relieve some of the strain as well as to provide for essential new projects and services.”

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