Airbnb and Safe Ireland launch domestic abuse survivors fund
It is being launched today.
Airbnb and Safe Ireland have revealed the launch of their "Safe Ireland Survivors Fund" which aims to protect domestic violence survivors, refugees and support centres around the country.
Backed by a €350,000 donation from Airbnb, the fund aims to provide grants to women and children escaping any form of abuse.
It is set to be distributed through Safe Ireland's 39 affiliated services across the country and will support sustainable and complex-case development work.
These grants are to be used for immediate use, including groceries, utility bills, deposits for accommodation, insurance and car repairs and something as small as phone credit.
Funding for equipment or training, including play pods for children or innovative and specialist support for high-risk and vulnerable women, are all also included.
Mary McDermott, CEO of Safe Ireland said: "Financial control is a core mechanism of coercive control in an abusive relationship. Barriers like access to phone credit, transport or the inability to pay bills, can and do keep women trapped. The Safe Ireland Survivor Fund directly addresses these micro-controls, builds hope and the capacity to act.
"Airbnb has shown generous and creative corporate leadership in working with us from the beginning of COVID-19 to support survivors and services, and we welcome it. However, this Fund cannot address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence as a large-scale social problem. Nor can it replace systematic and thorough-going state response to the abuse of women and children. We thank Airbnb for their frontline response, while Safe Ireland continues to work for the eradication of domestic violence in society as a whole."
Airbnb has been collaborating with Safe Ireland since 2020, partnering with them and Women's Aid last June to provide emergency accommodation for domestic violence survivors as refugees and services struggled with the demand and limited space due to ever-changing health restrictions.
It was extended to June 2021 and has provided over 3,000 beds to survivors.
Jean Hoey, Co-Site Lead for Airbnb in Ireland, added: "We have been privileged to support the vital work of Safe Ireland and their tireless dedication to helping those faced with domestic violence. For women leaving an abusive home situation, bills and costs can cause a great deal of worry. Through the Survivor Fund, we want to help relieve that pressure and provide financial peace of mind."
Safe Ireland found that the cost of domestic violence to a woman is around €113,500 over the course of a 20 year period, including loss of income, unemployment, health costs, legal fees, and the cost of relocation.
You can donate to the fund here.