McDonald calls for legislation on domestic violence
Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Taoiseach to introduce reformed, consolidated domestic violence legislation as committed to in the Programme for Government.
Deputy McDonald said:
“Women's Aid today published its annual domestic violence figures. Over 13,000 people called the organisation's helpline last year. Some 2,000 of those calls disclosed emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children in their homes and this represented a 25% increase on the previous year. Some 3,000 callers said that children were witnessing first-hand the abuse and violence perpetrated against their mothers.
“Labour and Fine Gael committed to introduce reformed, consolidated domestic violence legislation on entering government over 15 months ago. However today we were told by the Taoiseach that domestic violence legislation has been put on the back burner because the government is prioritising troika-related legislation.
“We know that domestic violence increases during times of economic recession, so the urgency of government action also increases. It is deeply disappointing that the government has not yet taken the kind of concrete preventative action that is necessary to protect vulnerable women and their children from domestic violence.
“Government needs to deliver on its legislative commitments. Equally domestic violence related services must be adequately funded by government to enable them deliver the necessary supports to victims.”