Liadh for President
Liadh for President

Cuts to Rape Crisis Network is latest Government attack on Women

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada hit out at the recently announced cuts to the Rape Crisis Network and pointed to a clear anti-women bias on the part of the Fine Gael and Labour government. Ní Riada made the comments following a meeting with CEO of Rape Crisis Midwest Miriam Duffy and Nenagh service coordinator Martina Cahill.

“I was shocked and angered to hear that TUSLA had totally withdrawn its funding of the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI), although I shouldn’t be surprised given the downward trajectory of funding for the network and for other crisis services and supports for women.

“The Rape Crisis Network is an umbrella organisation for local rape crisis centres such as Rape Crisis Midwest, which serves Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. Crucially the RCNI gathers and analysis data on the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence in our society.

“Survivors of sexual violence find it difficult to seek support and to report crimes. Statistics show that two-thirds of survivors don’t report sexual violence or even avail of one-to-one counselling. Part of RCNI’s remit is to provide information to the community and to challenge the barriers to accessing support and justice that so many survivors face.

“It is impossible to put a price on the work of the Rape Crisis Network and on Rape Crisis Centres across the country, but sadly TUSLA has done this. The book must stop with Government however. TUSLA has been underfunded from the start, and the knock-on effect of this political decision by the Fine Gael and Labour Government is that crisis services have been cut or limited across the country. This affects domestic violence services, refuges for women and children and outreach and protection projects targeted at some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“We need a strong and independent voice for survivors on the national stage and a network of independent and community-embedded crisis centres. The RCNI funding must be reinstated. I would urge people to add their names to the petition, which can be accessed here.

“For all the talk of recovery and green-shoots our communities are still suffering under the weight of austerity, and women are bearing the brunt. For all their talk of equality Fine Gael and Labour are hellbent on making women pay for the crisis. Cuts to loan parents’ and to carers’ allowances, failure to tackle the issue of low and zero-hour contracts, and ongoing cuts to community, health and education services are part of a long list of attacks on women by this and the previous government.”

Anyone who wishes to contact Rape Crisis Midwest can contact the service in confidence at freephone 1800 311 511

You can donate to Rape Crisis Network of Ireland via its website

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