NEW radio and television advertisements will be aired from next week, telling domestic violence victims that services are still available despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
The measure comes as gardaí report a slight increase in calls relating to domestic violence in Cork since the introduction of restrictions on movement to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said that a slight increase has been noted in the Cork West garda division.
This morning, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Minister of State David Stanton launched the new awareness campaign. Funding for domestic violence support agencies has also been announced.
Minister Stanton said: ‘‘We are pleased to have been able to provide over €160,000 to community and voluntary groups to support their work at this time, while also funding the making and airing of the ads. We are also pleased to see that domestic and sexual violence services provided by other State agencies have been adapted to ensure they remain available, despite Covid-19."
An Garda Síochána has established ‘Operation Faoisimh’, a proactive initiative designed to ensure victims of domestic violence are supported and protected throughout this period.
The Legal Aid Board is giving priority to domestic violence and childcare cases, with every centre maintaining a phone line or email address for victims seeking supports. A Helpline has also been set up to ensure that persons experiencing domestic violence issues get prompt legal advice and legal representation in court where needed.
The Courts Service is giving priority to domestic violence and childcare cases, with every District continuing to have a Court open to hear applications for protection, interim barring and emergency barring orders;
Some PPE has already been provided to service in the sector, with additional supplies to be provided next week.
Additional ICT resources are being provided to the sector to enable continuity of services to the public through supporting remote working. More than 50 staff are currently funded to the amount of €60,000 for this purpose.