Seán Crowe TD has urged the caretaker Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to reverse her decision not to provide a Covid-19 domestic violence rent supplement payment. The Dublin South West TD’s remarks came as An Garda Síochána revealed reports of domestic violence incidents spiking by 30% in some areas since the beginning of the lockdown.
Teachta Crowe said “Safe Ireland submitted a detailed proposal to the caretaker Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty earlier this month warning her of the need to allow domestic violence victims access to an emergency rent supplement payment lasting three months or for the duration of the current pandemic.
“While the current Covid-19 emergency requires us all to stay home in order to stay safe and protect each other, being home is sadly not an easy option for many vulnerable people trapped in an unsafe environment. Many women and children feel trapped at home with an abuser and the lockdown has cut off options to escape or seek support.
“We have a duty to provide specific services to help victims who urgently need to relocate at this time of crisis. It is disingenuous and downright cruel to run hard hitting advertisements for victims without putting
supports and help in place. Delays can cause prolonged suffering, acute distress and potentially serious risk to the lives of vulnerable people and their families.
“The Minister’s refusal to engage with Safe Ireland’s proposal fails to recognise the unique circumstances of victims’ accommodation needs during the current crisis and the urgency with which their needs must be met. “I am urging the Minister to think again and meet with Safe Ireland so she can better understand why this failure to meet the housing needs of victims of domestic abuse and their children cannot continue during this Pandemic.”