Airbnb to offer free accommodation to domestic abuse survivors in Ireland
"The pandemic has shone a light onto the epidemic of domestic violence that continues in this country."
Airbnb will be offering free accommodation to domestic abuse survivors in Ireland.
The rental and experience company has partnered with Safe Ireland and Women's Aid to assist survivors of domestic violence during a time when emergency accommodation is unfortunately drastically needed.
There has been a significant increase in calls made to both Safe Ireland and Women's Aid since the beginning of the pandemic, with the latter reporting a 60 percent increase in contact made to the charity.
Airbnb will work with its hotel partners to source temporary free accommodation for survivors where refuge is not available.
The safety needs of survivors will be addressed by domestic violence services before they are booked into the emergency accommodation, and they will remain closely linked with their designated services.
Safe Ireland will coordinate the initiative alongside the Women's Aid national helpline. All accommodation costs will be paid for by Airbnb and HotelTonight (an Airbnb affiliate).
Caitriona Gleeson, programme and communications manager with Safe Ireland, says they "welcome the community leadership shown by Airbnb with this partnership."
"The pandemic has shone a light onto the epidemic of domestic violence that continues in this country," she says.
"It has also sparked an incredible outpouring of empathy, understanding and support for survivors trapped with abusers.
"The security of safe accommodation is essential for women and children to be able to make their first step towards freedom and recovery. This generous contribution by Airbnb means that we will be able to support many more women as they come forward following lockdown.”
The partnership is also supported by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, who has been a leading advocate on domestic violence issues in Ireland.
“We want victims of this horrific crime to know that they are a priority for us and that support is always available," she says.
"I welcome this valuable new initiative which complements the important work that the government has undertaken in this area since the start of the pandemic.
"We are doing everything we can to protect and support all victims of domestic violence, especially now as Ireland re-opens after Covid-19.”