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"Domestic violence levels demand urgent action" Jennifer McCann

1 December, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann


"The Criminal Justice Inspectorate that shows an incident of Domestic Violence reported  every 21 minutes in the North demands urgen action" said Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer Mc Cann.Ms. McCann said:"These statistics once again exposes the hidden level of Domestic Violence but they only take account of the incidents that are reported. The question this raises is, how many people are suffering this violence in silence. Urgent action is required to impress on everyone that this violence is not a family dispute that should be kept private - it is a crime and must be treated with the seriousness it deserves."Up to 1 in 4 women and 11,000 children in the North of Ireland experience Domestic Violence.  Over half of the incidents reported to Police result in no prosecution so it is clear that more needs to be done to encourage victims to come forward and take prosecutions. We need to assure women that protection and support needed is available to them if they come forward to seek help.  "There are deep societal problems that need to be challenged and tackled in order to ensure that violence in the home is seen for the crime that it is and that it is unacceptable."Violence in the home has a serious impact not just on the physical well being of it's victims and survivors but on their long-term mental health also. Organisations like Women's Aid provide a crucial lifeline to those families under threat."Now that we have local control over Policing & Justice we have an opportunity to re-shape the justice system to make it less difficult for women to come forward and report these crimes and to receive the support and reassurance about their safety that they require from the justice system."I would urge the Minister for Justice to take the details of this report on board and to continue to work with organisations like Women's Aid to remove any barriers that prevent women reporting the crime of domestic violence and getting the justice they deserve." ENDS

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