Senator Fiona O’Loughlin welcomes permanent extension of Rent Supplement for Victims of Domestic Violence

Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed today’s announcement that rent supplement will be permanently extended to victims of domestic violence.

Senator O’Loughlin said “There is absolutely no doubt that the covid pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of many victims of domestic abuse”

“Many victims of domestic violence, be they male or female, lack financial independence, which is a tactic of entrapment used by many perpetrators of domestic violence. Victims simply have no option but to stay.”

“This measure ensures that victims of domestic violence can continue to get immediate access to rent supplement for a three-month period to ensure that they are not prevented from leaving because of a lack of financial independence.”

“It is also positive that the usual rent supplement means test will not apply for this three-month period, and a further three-month extension may be provided, subject to the usual rent supplement means assessment”

“This measure is important, and we need to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and are not forced to stay in dangerous or terrifying conditions”

Fiona concluded “I am also reiterating my call for the Government to explore the establishing domestic abuse shelter for men in this country. At present only one national group deals with domestic abuse for men which is Men’s Aid Ireland.  It operates in Dublin and has four outreach clinics. We have no domestic shelter in the country for men who may need to take their children from difficult situations, and it is time that we had.  So this measure in terms of rent supplement is very welcome, but a lot still needs to be done in the area of domestic abuse.”