The Need for Gender Specific Services for Women Experiencing Homelessness and Addiction
Our briefing paper A Space of Her Own: The Need for Gender Specific Services for Women in Homelessness and Addiction is available HERE.
A new briefing paper from Merchants Quay Ireland calls on the government to support the provision of gender-specific homeless and addiction services for women.
The paper notes that women are often unable or unwilling to access existing services. Higher rates of gender-based violence, sex work and coercive control among women can leave them too ashamed, stigmatised and afraid to seek the help they need. Tragically the average age at death of women who are homeless in Ireland is thirty-eight years of age – six years younger than men.
International research shows that female-only spaces facilitate greater emotional and physical safety for women, especially those who have experienced trauma and abuse.
MQI recommends the urgent delivery of a female-only wellness centre which can respond to the unique and complex challenges faced by women who are experiencing homelessness and addiction.
Merchant’s Quay Ireland CEO, Paula Byrne, said:
“Silenced by shame, guilt and fear, women experiencing homelessness and addiction could not be more vulnerable. Many are physically and sexually abused, struggle with their mental health, and face trauma after trauma. Despite the hardship of their daily lives, they are often too ashamed or afraid to ask for help. MQI are calling on the government to support the delivery of gender specific homeless and addiction services. There is an urgent need to establish a female-only wellness centre – a safe haven where women can feel welcomed, understood, and supported in rebuilding their lives.”