More funding needed for domestic abuse resources in Galway, say PBP

People Before Profit have called for a tripling in funding for domestic abuse resources in Galway, as cases of gender-based violence across the city surged by 59 per cent throughout the pandemic.

Domestic abuse charity, COPE Galway, claimed that over 600 women and children avail of their services every year.

Head of Domestic Abuse for COPE Galway, Dr Carol Baumann, said that “one in five women in Ireland can expect to experience abuse from an intimate partner during their lifetime – a staggering figure. In that context, it is quite clear that services like ours see just a fraction of the many women who need support”.

The Istanbul Convention on Combating Violence Against Women, which Ireland ratified in 2019, commits Ireland to assuring one domestic violence refuge bed per 10,000 of the population. 

This would involve everyone living within a 30-minute drive from a domestic violence refuge.

However, a review conducted by Tusla in 2020 found that 94,000 people in Galway live further from a refuge than this. 

People Before Profit councillor Adrian Curran has called for an urgent increase in funding and resources from the government to tackle all aspects of gender-based violence.

This would include a greater investment in sexual assault treatment units, counselling services for survivors of abuse, increased funding for civil legal aid services, for the courts to prioritise sexual assault cases, and the introduction of paid domestic abuse leave.

Photo courtesy of People Before Profit’s Adrian Curran.

“Financial dependence is frequently used by abusers to coerce women from leaving abusive relationships,” he said.

“These are immediate measures, and then there’s the wider system of problems to be addressed. We need non-ethos based sex education. Sex education really changes the way gender and sexuality is addressed. That’s something the government have been dragging their feet on for a long time”.

Mr Curran said that Ireland is “miserably failing” on this, and is not taking appropriate measures to improve the situation. 

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