National Women’s Council welcomes victim centred approach in O’Malley report implementation
Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2020
The National Women’s Council (NWC) today welcomed the focus on the experience of victims in the implementation of the O’Malley Report on protections for vulnerable witnesses in the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences cases as outlined by Minister Helen McEntee.
Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said.
“We particularly welcome the clear commitment by Minister Mc Entee at today’s launch to map out the victim’s journey and to recognise the different experiences of victims. NWC knows of the difficulties and barriers women experience in reporting sexual violence crimes and in continuing through the criminal justice system. This experience is often retraumatising and revictimising. We also need to emphasise the specific needs of victims where sexual violence occurs in a domestic violence context. The announcements today have the potential to transform a victim's experience in the criminal justice system. They also send a strong message to perpetrators of the seriousness of these crimes.”
“We particularly welcome the emphasis on training for all statutory agencies and the need for greater joined-up working across all the State agencies. It is very positive to see the recognition of the comprehensive range of supports a victim may need to be fully supported from the time of reporting to the release of the perpetrator and all the steps in-between.”
Orla O’Connor concluded,
“NWC welcomes that the implementation plan will be a living document where learning can continuously be incorporated and the critical involvement of frontline services and advocacy organisations in determining future reforms is being recognised. In order to realise the ambition outlined by Minister McEntee, significant additional funding will need to be made available to services to ensure that every woman who reports sexual violence can access and receive the supports she needs and in a timely manner.
Sexual violence crimes are very serious crimes which have a significant, lifelong effect on the victims. The announcements today mark a fundamental shift in our understanding of the impact of rape and sexual assault on victims and the transformation that is necessary so that the system can support all victims.”
For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, Tel. 085 858 9104.