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Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services welcomes the launch of Cuan, the new Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency

February 23, 2024

Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services welcomes the launch of Cuan, the new Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency at the Department of Justice. ‍

Attending the launch, Sinead Smith, CEO, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services, said:  

“Having a central agency responsible for a unified response to address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence is a long overdue and important development for Ireland. Though we badly need to invest in more refuge beds across the country, it is not just more crisis services that are needed. Establishing Cuan gives the structure needed to prioritise and invest further in prevention, community-based responses that include all of us and improving long term supports to survivors who come forward. 
We look forward to working with the new Agency to increase our own capacity to support survivors of domestic violence in Co. Meath, delivering meaningful long-term change in our community. This year we will complete the planning process for the new 12-unit refuge that has been agreed for Navan, as well as begin a new pilot community mobilisation project in Meath funded by the Department of Justice. These are big steps forward for Co. Meath. 
Domestic violence is still hugely under-reported in Ireland which means many families continue to suffer in silence. There is now a greater understanding of domestic violence, not as private matter between two people, but as a crime and a widespread societal problem. The new agency gives the platform to build dialogue and reflect as a society on how we work towards the elimination of domestic violence, which is a key indicator of gender inequality in any society.”  

Last year Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services:

- Provided 185 women and children with emergency accommodation (41% increase on previous year)

- Were unable to accommodate a further 292 families who requested refuge due to a lack of space

- Supported 528 women and children through our Outreach and Community work

- Supported applications for 339 Protection, Safety, and Interim Barring Orders in the Courts (53% increase on previous year)

- Responded to 1,437 helpline calls and referrals (27% increase on previous year)

- Facilitated 34 women through peer support and education programmes  

- Provided 540 hours of counselling and 66 hours of play therapy

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