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  • Northside West

Candidates are urged to make domestic violence an election issue

Monday, 3rd February, 2020 6:00pm
Candidates are urged to make domestic violence an election issue

There is a pressing need for more support for victims of domestic violence. PHOTO POSED/BIGSTOCK

Candidates are urged to make domestic violence an election issue

There is a pressing need for more support for victims of domestic violence. PHOTO POSED/BIGSTOCK

GENERAL election candidates running in Dublin West have been urged to push the issue of gender violence and domestic abuse up the political agenda.

All local candidates, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, were invited to a special event in the Crowne Plaza Hotel last Friday, organised by the Dublin 15&7 Action Against Gender Violence Group. 

A spokesperson for the group said they were seeking commitments from candidates in line with their demands contained in letters signed by 500 constituents. This includes immediate funding for the expansion of the Sonas refuge in Blanchardstown and the opening of a Rape Crisis Centre in Dublin 15.

Campaigners are also calling for increased funding for community outreach teams that can work with more families in crisis and raise awareness of gender violence, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. 

Preventative measures, they say, could take the form of workshops in schools, community centres and workplaces.

The community campaign was launched by local women from the Dublin 7 and 15 areas in November 2019. It highlighted that Sonas in Blanchardstown, through no fault of the workers at the refuge, had to turn away 500 families in crisis due to under-funding in one year alone.

Just before Christmas, campaigners hand delivered 250 letters outlining their demands to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Public support for the group’s demands has doubled since then.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We have had hundreds of conversations in our communities and workplaces and there is a deep anger with the current situation and strong support from people.”

She added that they were appealing to political parties and candidates to make the issue of domestic violence central to their election manifestos.

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