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Walby Report into costs of Domestic violence demand action

15 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane who has recently taken on the specific brief of Women's issues has said that the Walby Report into costs of Domestic violence that revealed that domestic violence costs an estimated £23 billion per year in the England and Wales has very serious implications for the Six Counties.

Ms Ruane said:

"Details of the Walby report published estimate that domestic violence is costing the UK in excess of £23 billion a year. This report focuses not just on the considerable income losses from lost employment, substantial civil legal costs and some costs associated with moving home and health care but also on the human and emotional.

"Injuries caused by domestic violence is costing employers and workers nearly £3 billion a year and the cost in terms of providing services such as health care and housing a further £3 billion - and a further £17 billion bill for the human costs.

"While there is no clear breakdown for the costs in this part in Ireland there is very clear evidence from those working in this field that the impact of domestic violence in the Six Counties is huge. We need to challenge domestic violence wherever it occurs. Domestic violence is not acceptable. It affects people of every class, age, race, disability, and sexuality.

"This is a massive social issue that we cannot ignore. It is not just the personal and service costs in terms of women, and it is by large women, turning up in casualty departments, it is the social costs and the impact on children.

"Sinn Fein believe that we need similar research here to both identify the scale of the problem here and to identify the resources available to tackle the problem and support people leaving relationships where domestic violence occurs. It is vital that people who are affected know where to turn to for support and advice. We have to acknowledge and accept that domestic violence is widespread and that possibly as much as half of all domestic violence goes unrecorded." ENDS

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