Milestone Day: National Women’s Council welcomes stronger sentences for violence against women
Published: Wednesday, November 01, 2023
The National Women’s Council (NWC) has strongly welcomed the introduction of tougher sentences for violence against women, alongside the introduction of non-fatal strangulation and stalking as new and standalone offences, respectively. The maximum sentence for assault causing harm has doubled, the scope of the existing harassment offence has been widened, and in cases of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation causing serious harm, there is now a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment.
NWC’s Violence Against Women Programme Coordinator, Ivanna Youtchak, said:
“Women everywhere deserve to live a life free from male violence. Not only are offences such as these egregious, but they are often indicators of a broader pattern of violent behaviour towards women. The new legislation which will come into effect today, sends an important message to society that these forms of abuse constitute serious crimes and will not be tolerated. It is really positive to see Minister McEntee continue to take a strong stand on violence against women.”
According to Women’s Aid Femicide Watch, 12 women died violently in 2022 in the Republic of Ireland. 1 in 2 women will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes, according to the CSO. Gardaí receive 126 domestic violence reports every day.
The National Women’s Council, alongside the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women, supports a zero tolerance approach to violence against women. That approach must also include protection and prevention measures, such as resources for women’s refuges and supports for survivors, as well as awareness raising and educational programmes such as the new Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) curriculum.
The government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy provides a strong blueprint for the elimination of violence against women and it is essential that this Strategy is fully resourced to ensure it is realised in full. NWC is now looking forward to the establishment of the new Agency on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence dedicated to tackling and reducing DSGBV and supporting victims and survivors. It is of critical importance that the Agency is appropriately funded to carry out, not only its own functions, but to administer the required resources to vital frontline services.
For comment: Ivanna Youtchak
For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.
This year we celebrate 50 years since our foundation with a special calendar of events and campaigns.
The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.
We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on www.nwci.ie