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funding crisis Campaigners hold protest against 'shadow pandemic' of gender violence outside the Dail

More than 2,500 women couldn’t access a refuge place during the pandemic

Seven women daily in Ireland who need access to a refuge can’t get a place, attendees were told at a gender violence protest today.

There has also been a 43 per cent rise in calls to Women’s Aid since the pandemic began.

Organisers for the socialist feminist group ROSA called for emergency action on what was described as the “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence during a standout today at the Dáil.

Speaking at the protest, former TD and activist Ruth Coppinger called for emergency actions to support women facing violence.

“We make this essential protest today on behalf of the 19 women who will contact a Safe Ireland agency for the first time, on behalf of the seven women who won’t be able to get a refuge place and on behalf of all those who’ll seek help for sexual violence.

“Calls to all agencies dealing with gender and sexual violence have rocketed during the pandemic.

"Services are described as at ‘breaking point’.

"More than 2,500 women couldn’t access a refuge place during the pandemic.

"More than a quarter of all calls were first-time calls. This is a crisis, but it’s not being treated as such by government.”

ROSA called on the government to organise a programme of consent-based education throughout schools, colleges, workplaces and communities. It also highlighted violence against transgender people, adding that one in four trans of intersex people have faced a public attack.

The organisation recently organised protests following the murder of Sarah Everard in the UK.

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