Airbnb partners with SAFE Ireland to offer survivors of domestic abuse free temporary accommodation
Domestic abuse has risen by 25 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Clodagh Meaney
Airbnb partners with SAFE Ireland to offer survivors of Domestic Abuse free temporary Survivors of Domestic Abuse can now access free temporary accommodation.
In partnership with Women's Aid, domestic abuse survivors will be able to access a safe place to stay when specialist emergency accommodation, such as at a women's refuge, is not available.
All accommodation will be sourced and paid for by Airbnb and HotelTonight, part of the Airbnb family.
All those accommodated as part of the initiative will be closely linked in with domestic abuse specialists.
It comes as domestic abuse has risen 25 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women's Aid have reported at 39 percent rise in calls to their service during the global health crisis.
Many services are reporting that they are responding to the double trauma of lockdown and months of abuse with many seeing a particular increase in women with multiple children coming forward and looking for crisis accommodation in the community.
The partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland and Women’s Aid has been welcomed by Josepha Madigan TD, an advocate for women's safety, who said: “We want victims of this horrific crime to know that they are a priority for us and that support is always available," adding: "I welcome this valuable new initiative which complements the important work that the Government has undertaken in this area since the start of the pandemic."
"We are doing everything we can to protect and support all victims of domestic violence, especially now as Ireland re-opens after COVID-19.”
CEO of Women's Aid, Sarah Benson, also welcomed the initiative.
“This is a really welcome, collaborative initiative bringing together the generosity of Airbnb and dedicated specialist domestic abuse organisations to meet the needs of women and children forced to flee their homes because of violence and abuse," she said.
"We are delighted to be assisting referrals through our National Freephone Helpline so that this supplementary accommodation is available 24/7 where refuge may not be an option.”
Similar initiatives were recently launched by Airbnb in the US.
Pharmacy chain, Boots, recently partnered with SAFE Ireland to provide a safe space in their stores for survivors of domestic abuse to access assistance.
If you've been affected by any of the themes in this article, please reach out.
Men's Aid - 01 554 3811
Women’s Aid - 1800 34 19 00