Mum's Life

New domestic, sexual and gender based violence agency now open

A new domestic, sexual and gender based violence agency has been launched. 

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee opened the agency, Cuan, today. 

Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Minister of State James Browne joined Minister McEntee for the opening. 

The Minister for Justice also announced the appointment of Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe as Cuan’s CEO.

This announcement comes after an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service.

It was also revealed that Cuan, which will deliver safe and accessible refuge accommodation, is “set to double to 280 units nationwide by the end of 2026”.

The agency will work to raise awareness of domestic, sexual and gender based violence, while also leading campaigns that are “aimed at delivering the changes in societal attitudes necessary to achieve ‘Zero Tolerance’”.

Speaking about the establishment of Cuan, Minister McEntee explained, “Today is a proud day for all who were involved in bringing Cuan to life”.

“The establishment of a dedicated statutory DSGBV agency has been a priority of mine and I am confident that Cuan will be the driving force we need to ensure we deliver the initiatives and changes which will get us to a place of zero tolerance across society for all forms of domestic, sexual and gender based violence”.

“In designing and delivering Cuan, Government and NGOs have come together in collaboration and commitment. We have seen all political parties support the legislation to establish it, and we have seen unprecedented understanding and support for this work across society”.

McEntee continued, “This all happened in the wake of us working in partnership with the sector. We listened to all, including victims and survivors, before drafting the Government Strategy on DSGBV. It reflected the very strong view that, in order to achieve real and lasting change, we needed a focused entity permanently driving a coherent whole of Government approach”.

“I am delighted that someone of the calibre and experience of Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, will now take on the task of running the agency. Given her extensive experience of nationwide service delivery, building new and robust teams, and driving forward ambitious whole of Government priorities, I am confident this leadership is exactly what Cuan needs, in its formative years”.

Minister O’Gorman also commented to say, “As a Government, we have placed a clear and committed focus on the issue of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence”.

“Today is a milestone in Ireland’s efforts to tackle DSGBV, with the establishment of Cuan providing a dedicated agency to drive policy and ensure that anyone at risk of or experiencing domestic violence can access the support required. I want to wish Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, and her team, the best of luck as they begin their work”.

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