Sunday 17 November 2019

Refuge turns away 80pc of abuse victims

Sarah Stack

FOUR out of five victims of domestic violence in desperate need of help were turned away from a crisis refuge last year because it was full.

Sonas Housing revealed almost 600 vulnerable women living with abuse made contact in 2011, but only 130 women with 250 children could be taken in.

Anne McKeon, chair of Sonas Housing Association, said the lives of women and children are at risk by the lack of support.

"There is a real need for more domestic violence spaces in the community to alleviate this risk," she said.

Demand for Sonas almost doubled since 2010, the organisation revealed.

Women and children who get access to emergency services at Viva House in west Dublin are later helped to move safely on to independent living.

But the charity argued that Ireland lags way behind the Council of Europe standard of refuge provision of one family unit for a population of 10,000.

Instead of 424 family refuge spaces, Ireland has 131, with many counties having no service, it added.

Irish Independent

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