The Minister for Justice has announced extra funding for organisations supporting victims of abuse and crime.

Helen McEntee has provided €445,000 in total to 18 organisations primarily for regional based domestic abuse services.

This is separate to funding announced under Budget 2022 for combating domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and for supporting victims of crime.

The move marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Through a mapping exercise, geographical areas and categories of victims which represent gaps or unmet needs in support services were identified.

A number of organisations were discovered where additional funding would allow them to provide more services and increase the geographical spread of support.

The organisations have been allocated funding ranging from €10,000 to €150,000.

Victim Support at Court, Lifeline Inishowen, Longford Women's Link, the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre are among the organisations that will benefit.

Noeline Blackwell of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said they would use the funds to build a set of resources around court accompaniment guidance.

A plan to help victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases called Supporting a Victim's Journey was published by the Department of Justice in December last year.

This followed recommendations by the O'Malley Review Group, which explored what reforms might be introduced to protect victims of sexual violence during the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences.

As part of Supporting a Victim's Journey, the department established sub-groups to work on implementing some of the O’Malley Review recommendations.

One of the sub-groups with NGO representatives was tasked with carrying out a review of the supports and funding of civil society organisations providing frontline services and outlining the journey that faces the victim.

To support this, a funding call was placed in December 2020 for frontline support services for domestic abuse, sexual crime, human trafficking and victims of crime generally.

The department commissioned an expert consultant to analyse and categorise the supports provided with grant funding from the Department of Justice in 2021 to date under the Victims of Crime grant scheme.

Geographical areas and unmet needs in the current provision of support services were identified.

Minister McEntee said tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based crime was a priority for her and the Government.

She said the latest funding will increase phone line hours, emotional support, and increased court accompaniment.

Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion said domestic violence during pregnancy is an aspect of abuse which often goes ignored, and more must be done to raise awareness and support women in these situations.

The Chair of the Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration said the State continues to fail women of all ages fleeing domestic violence, particularly in relation to the lack of sufficient refuge spaces.

Deputy Funchion said her constituency of Carlow is one of nine counties without any refuge.

She said Ireland continued to have "an undersupply of refuge spaces in excess of 350 spaces - affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life".

"The surge in reports of domestic violence has been one of the most concerning aspects of the national lockdown during the pandemic," she said.

"The absence of necessary funding in Budget 2022 further demonstrates that the State is simply playing lip service to women in horrific situations."

Today marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which is an annual campaign that begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The global theme this year is 'Orange the world: End violence against women now!'.

It will run until Human Rights Day on 10 December.