Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Mary Lou outlines five key demands to tackle domestic violence

4 December, 2008


As part of Sinn Féin's ongoing campaign against Domestic Violence and in support of the International 16-Day Campaign on Violence against Women Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald and a group of party activists distributed postcards at St. Stephen's Green today which outline the party's five demands for tackling domestic violence.

Speaking from St. Stephen's Green this evening Mary Lou McDonald outlined to the media Sinn Féin's five key demands to tackle domestic violence.

She said, "Today's action will launch a number of city wide local door-drops and shopping centre stalls that will take place over the coming weeks.

"Domestic violence is silent crime that devastates the lives of those living in perpetual fear of their abusers. One in five women will suffer domestic violence at some part of their lives yet, because of low levels of reportage, this is a crime that generally goes unnoticed and receives a low Garda Priority.

"Sinn Féin's ongoing campaign against Domestic Violence centres around five key demands. We want increased safe, suitable emergency and long-term accommodation for victims the lack of which is a key factor which impedes victims from coming forward to report their ordeals.

"There needs to be secure and adequate funding for essential frontline services for victims of domestic violence. The current economic climate must not be used as an excuse to neglect these victims.

"Training for frontline staff including; housing officers, community welfare officers, Gardaí and A&E workers is essential. It is crucial that the first point of contact for victims who decide to seek help is trained and capable of dealing with the specific needs of the victim. Legislative reforms to ensure legal protections are available to all victims are also necessary.

"Finally, domestic violence must be included as a named priority in the Gardaí Síochána Policing Plans. Though Gardaí may receive more calls to deal with crimes of other natures it is clear from the statistics that domestic violence is one of the most prevalent crimes in Irish society and needs to be prioritised accordingly.

"It is our firm belief that if these five demands are delivered on by government men and women could truly begin to look forward to a society free of domestic violence." ENDS

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