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Protest calling for action on violence against women to gather at Dáil on St Brigid’s Day

“These facts stand in strong contrast to the lies peddled by the far right - that 'unvetted' refugees pose the greatest threat to Irish women.”

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A rally calling-out the government response to violence against women will gather outside the Dáil tomorrow.

In her announcement of the St Brigid’s Day protest, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said the government “should hang its head in shame” for how they have dealt with the issue so far.

"There are families being turned away from refuges everyday because there is no space for them,” the Dublin South-Central TD told sundayworld.com.

"They are being driven back into the arms of their abuser because there is nowhere for them to go. Nine counties are without a women’s refuge.”

The TD says the strategy to tackle violence against women is good, but action must be taken now.

Ms Smith added that toxic masculinity and the lack of education around consent and violence for young men and boys are contributing to the problem and must be tackled now.

"In response to the outcry over violence against women...the government announced plans to build additional refuges with 100 extra places, by the end of 2024,” Ms Smith said in the rally announcement.

"Nothing has happened. There is still not one extra refuge place.

"The housing crisis, the cost of living crisis, the breakdown in our health services, crucially our mental health services, all affect women disproportionately and increase their vulnerability to abuse and violence,” she said.

"This government should hang its head in shame.”

The St Brigid’s Day Protest will take place outside the Dáil tomorrow from 12.30pm.

"I have called the protest in my own name,” the TD added. “This issue is not party political.

"We will be shouting at the government for change.”

The TD said 87 pc of the 256 women who died violently since 1996 “were killed by a man they knew, most often a partner or former partner.”

She added: “These facts stand in strong contrast to the lies peddled by the far right - that 'unvetted' refugees pose the greatest threat to Irish women.”

Nine counties across the country are currently without a women’s refuge and while Ireland should have 476 places according to international standards, it has just 144 nationwide, the TD added.

"In 2021, more than 28,000 women disclosed abuse to Women’s Aid,” she said in the rally announcement.

"That same year, most requests for emergency accommodation were refused - the refuges were already full.

"According to Safe Ireland, 8 families a day were refused; that's 8 vulnerable women and children driven back to their abuser.”

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