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‘Government must accept its part in increasing women’s exposure to violence’ – Carol Nolan

domestic violence

TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan has launched a stinging criticism of what she says is ‘government failure to provide sufficient domestic violence spaces for women’ in her constituency.

The Independent TD was speaking during a series of Dáil statements on the recent CSO Survey on Sexual Violence.

Deputy Nolan pointed to the Survey’s findings that the majority of adults (78%) who experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime knew the perpetrator, with very little difference between women (79%) and men (75%).

“My intention is to place this frightening statistic firmly in the context of domestic violence and the historical lack of such services in my own constituency,” said Deputy Nolan

“If we categorise violence as physical, sexual and emotional harm against women then I believe that the failure of this and previous Governments to provide women’s refuge spaces now means that those very same Governments must accept a direct proportion of the blame for the experiences that women and indeed their children could have avoided if such services were in place.

“The lack of a women’s domestic violence refuge in Offaly for at least 25 years has without any doubt contributed to the levels of violence that women and children in my county could have avoided if sufficient beds and safe spaces were available.

“How could it be otherwise when these women had nowhere else to go?

“I accept that there has been some additional investment in domestic violence services and indeed I welcome that.

“But it is also high time for Government to accept that the delays which they presided over in terms of funding refuges has played an indirect but no less real role in violence against women,” Deputy Nolan concluded.

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