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06th Mar 2023

Domestic abuse accommodation will be increased, Minister Harris confirms

Kat O'Connor

The government has vowed to double the number of refuge places.

Domestic abuse accommodation will be increased in Ireland.

Minister for Justice Simon Harris secured Government approval for the drafting of legislation to create a statutory agency dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.

One of the agency’s key responsibilities will be supporting domestic abuse victims with accommodation.

The Government has vowed to double the number of refuge places.

It also hopes to increase the number of safe homes and other accommodations over the duration of the Zero Tolerance plan.

The agency will also ensure that there is a permanent structure to help deliver further refuge accommodation over the long term.

Minister Harris stated:

“This new agency will be tasked with ensuring the delivery of services to victims of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.

The agency will also drive and coordinate the implementation of the Third National Strategy across Government.

“It will bring the dedicated and expert focus that is needed to tackle this serious and complex societal issue.

Minister Harris is hopeful the agency will be up and running by next January.

“This sends a clear message from Government that domestic and gender-based violence will never be tolerated.

“I want to thank my colleague Minister McEntee for leading on this as part of the Zero Tolerance strategy.”

The General Scheme of the Bill will now be referred to the Justice Committee for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Following their report, the Bill will begin its progression through the Houses.

Minister Harris hopes the Bill will be enacted before the end of the year.

You can find a local helpline here if you have been affected by the issues mentioned in this article.