Limerick TD seeks paid leave for workers experiencing domestic abuse

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan

LIMERICK Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for a statutory entitlement to paid leave for workers experiencing domestic abuse to help them meet the challenges of escaping from an abusive relationship.  

Speaking during Tuesday’s Dáil debate on a Sinn Féin motion on Gender Based Violence in response to the murder of Aisling Murphy, he said that much more work needs to be done for those who are experiencing domestic abuse.

“There are lots of things that need to be done but one of the things that we can do immediately is introduce a provision for Domestic Violence Leave.

“In November 2019, along with my party leader, Mary Lou McDonald, I introduced the Organisation of Working Time (Domestic Violence Leave) Bill which proposes paid domestic violence leave days to those experiencing domestic abuse. This has now been re-introduced by Deputies McDonald and Louise O’Reilly.

“The intent was to provide the space for those experiencing such abuse to take time out of work to put in place safeguards to protect themselves without the fear of losing pay,” he explained.

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“Many women in Ireland, including TDs, have been targeted by the everyday sexism, harassment and misogyny that is present in every aspect of Irish life. From the workplace, through recreational and social pursuits and, perhaps worst of all, in the home.

“We have an obligation to prevent another generation of women and girls from experiencing misogyny and gender-based violence.

“For too long we have ignored or downplayed misogynistic comments and sexually aggressive language. Zero Tolerance cannot just be a call made to the courts. Zero Tolerance against misogyny must be the clarion call to all of us, particularly men and boys, as we go about our daily lives”

According to figures provided by Gardaí, there was a year-on-year increase of 21 per cent in reported domestic abuse incidents to the Limerick Garda division. An average of ten women have been killed in the State every year over the last 25 years.