Belfast Telegraph

‘Epidemic’ of domestic violence needs to be stopped, says Varadkar

The Taoiseach was speaking at his winter briefing with the media.

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

The Taoiseach says domestic violence is an “epidemic” after a woman was killed in Wicklow last week.

Speaking at his winter briefing with the media, Leo Varadkar was asked about domestic violence, and noted that six women are believed to have been killed in domestic incidents in Ireland this year.

“It’s something I’ve an interest in, personally, and that has been a priority of the Government for the last couple of years,” he said.

“I’m conscious that more women last year were killed by a man they know than were killed as a result of drug-related or gang-related feuds.

“It is that common, domestic violence, and there is an epidemic of it in the world and it needs to be stopped.

“We’ve ratified the Istanbul convention on domestic violence, which I think is a big step forward.

“We’ve strengthened the laws… around consent and also introduced a new offence around coercive control.

“We’ve given additional support to the Garda and gardai are now setting up the equivalent of special victims’ units in every division, which I think is long overdue, and provided a 5 million euro increase in funding for domestic violence services.

“As well as that, we’ve commissioned a new academic study on the scale and extent of domestic violence in Ireland.

“People say, ‘Why are you spending money on studies and research?’ It actually is important because, if you want to deal with a problem, you need to understand it. That will be a follow-up to the SAVI study.

“What we’ll do in the year to come will be built on that but one of the things we’ll particularly do is invest in more refugees for women who’ve experienced violence. I’ll be visiting one next week, in fact.

“We should have Rathmines reopened quite soon and you’ll have Rathcoole as well and also one in Galway.

“There are different measures as to how many places you should have for the size of your population but we will meet one of those measures next year and we won’t be far off the second measure.”

PA

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