Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 09 March, 2005

Written Answers. - Violence Against Women.

  258. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of the continuing problem of violence against women, he agrees that the Government needs to commit to a national funding framework for the violence against women sector, with roles, responsibilities and budgets defined within each of the six Government Departments with a responsibility for violence against women services, with money ring-fenced for service delivery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8186/05]

  Mr. McDowell:An interdepartmental group, comprising the Government Departments with responsibilities in the area of violence against women, is currently being convened by my colleague, Deputy Fahey, Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and chairperson of the national steering committee on violence against women, to discuss the roles, responsibilities and budgets available within each Department for addressing the issue.

The main funding for the organisations supporting victims of such violence is allocated by the Department of Health and Children. The Department of Health and Children is responsible for the provision of health and social services to victims of violence, including domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. In the main, these services are provided by non-governmental organisations who receive funding for this work from the Department of Health and Children [854] through the relevant health boards. In addition, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government assists in the provision of crisis accommodation, such as refuges.

My Department is responsible for any necessary responses from the civil and criminal justice systems, for any preventative measures which can be put in place, including intervention programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence, and for awareness raising measures aimed at changing society’s attitude to violence against women. My Department also co-ordinates the work of the national steering committee on violence against women. The Department of Education and Science is responsible for measures to educate children in relation to the issue in the schools, the Department of Social and Family Affairs has responsibilities for family support issues and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has responsibility for funding community development programmes and organisations.

The issue of the level of funding allocated from departmental budgets to addressing violence against women and any question of ring-fencing funding is a matter for the individual Departments concerned.

Question No. 259 answered with Question No. 238.