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Violence against women must be a red line issue in last week of GE2020

Published: Friday, January 31, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has today criticised political parties for not making ending violence against women a headline issue, and called for commentators to question parties on their policies to change Ireland’s record on violence against women, as we enter the final week of the 2020 General Election. 

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“One in four women in Ireland experience physical and sexual violence.  While the nature of abuse means this may not be an issue that comes up frequently on doors, it is unacceptable that political parties have not made ending violence against women a red line election issue. We have heard a lot about gangland killings, and parties being tough on crime, yet domestic homicides have outpaced gangland murders by almost two to one in the last three years.”

“Much more needs to be done to ensure that women and their children are safe in Ireland. Gardai will respond to 500-600 domestic abuse calls alone in the final week of the campaign. It is crucial that voters know where parties stand on the issue, and what their policies are to protect women and ensure perpetrators are punished.”

She concluded, 

“Ireland finally ratified the Istanbul Convention on violence against women in 2019, we need political parties to prioritiseits full implementation, including strengthening legislation and investing in frontline services, and ensuring Ireland has enough refuge places. As it stands, Ireland only has one third the recommended refuge spaces under the Council of Europe convention. Furthermore, it is crucial that our housing policy supports women and their children who are made homeless by domestic abuse. We are also calling on parties to commit to establishing domestic homicide reviews, so that we can develop a best practice response in relation to domestic violence including risk assessment and risk management.”

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