Ireland needs to look at international models when it comes to providing improved supports and services to victims of domestic violence.
That’s according to Cork South West Social Democrat TD who was speaking after West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV) reported increasing numbers of women seeking their help.
Deputy Cairns said she was researching the possibility of domestic violence leave being brought in to help victims to escape from abusive or dangerous situations.
New Zealand passed legislation in 2018 to grant victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to allow them to leave their partners, find new homes. Similar leave is available in Canada.
‘We should look at models in New Zealand and Canada so we can provide better help to those suffering from domestic violence,’ she added.
She said: ‘Support organisations and researchers warned about this expected increase at the early stages of the pandemic. Since then I have sought additional investment from the Government and for emergency powers to be put in place for barring orders.
‘Domestic violence shelters and support organisations have been doing incredible work during the pandemic and are now facing further challenges due to the current lockdown. However, it is also important to reassure all those affected that help is out there and they will be listened to and assisted,’ she added.
The Southern Star recently reported that 108 women had contacted WCWAV looking for help between March and August.
That’s a 35% increase in calls to Bantry-based group and in addition to the 203 women they were already helping. Marie Mulholland, project co-ordinator, said the 108 women were of all ages, and from throughout the region.