Women and children's charity Safe Ireland is calling for a €30 million package to respond to the basic needs of those coming forward to escape domestic violence.

The short-term letting company Airbnb is joining forces with Safe Ireland and Women's Aid to provide to provide safe emergency accommodation for women and their families who are being abused and assaulted at home.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Safe Ireland communications manager welcomed the initiative with Airbnb, but said it is a temporary measure and shows the needs for basic housing safety for many.

She said that "after decades of significant under-investment and awareness of the needs of those who experience abuse and the extent of domestic abuse in Ireland", there is not enough accommodation and services available to them.

Ms Gleeson said that despite being deemed an essential service during the Covid-19 pandemic, just €400,000 has been put forward by government to assist the sector, which is relying on fundraising and donations, including the gesture from Airbnb.

She said that "we have no idea yet of the extent of the impact of Covid on those experiencing abuse in the home".

Ms Gleeson said that there has been a sharp demand for services across the country and many new cases are coming on stream during the pandemic.

She said that before Covid-19 there were 136 family units across the country available and 25% of that capacity has now been lost.

She said that some Airbnb hotels would be made available and suitable for a small percentage of women around the country.

Some refuges have closed over the pandemic due to social distancing issues while  a new refuge has opened in Galway.

Safe Ireland is also calling for a minister with specific responsibility covering domestic violence to be appointed in the next government.