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Cuan – New Domestic, Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Agency Officially Established.

‘Cuan’ is an Irish word meaning a safe haven, harbour or place of shelter, and will be the working name of the new Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Agency newly established.

  • Cuan’ will drive and co-ordinate the Government’s response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, including refuge delivery.
  • New Agency will Lead Government Plan to Double the Number of Refuge Spaces.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has today announced that she has signed an order to officially establish ‘Cuan‘, the statutory agency dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV), thus supporting victims and survivors.

Minister McEntee commenced the Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Agency Act yesterday, which establishes Cuan in law from January 1st, 2024.

Minister McEntee said, “This is a hugely significant moment in our efforts to tackle all forms of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and the realisation of a key priority in Zero Tolerance, our strategy to combat these heinous crimes.
Both the DSGBV sector and the Government have accepted that the State needs to intensify and better integrate its response across all relevant areas – from policy coordination to strategy, from research to education and raising awareness – to help ensure victims of DSGBV have access to services of a consistently high standard.

These responsibilities and more will be the focus of the work done at Cuan in the months and years ahead, with the core functions identified by the DSGBV sector as part of the co-design process. The establishment of Cuan today is a crucial step in our plan for zero tolerance of domestic, sexual and gender based violence in Ireland, and I want to thank everyone who has helped bring is to this point.
I would like to thank everyone in the sector, including NGO and domestic violence services, who have worked with us to establish Cuan.”

The new agency will work collaboratively with the NGO and DSGBV services sector to ensure that the best possible services are in place to meet the needs of victims and survivors.

It is tasked with:-

  1. Coordinating and reporting on the delivery of Government strategies relating to DSGBV (including the current National Strategy).
  2. Supporting and overseeing the doubling of safe and accessible refuge accommodation, and ensuring the delivery of excellent services to victims of DSGBV, (including helpline and other supports).
  3. Developing robust standards for funded DSGBV services in collaboration with the sector, and monitoring adherence to these standards by funded service providers.
  4. Leading on awareness-raising campaigns designed to reduce the incidence of DSGBV in Irish society as well as ensuring that all victims know the full range of supports available and how to access them.
  5. Liaising with the Minister for Justice and her Department to ensure that the work of the Agency aligns with overall Government DSGBV policy.
  6. Leading on research to inform DSGBV policy development, working with others, such as the CSO, who have research and data projects underway.
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