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Lynn Boylan MEP speaks in favour of Domestic Violence Leave

23 April, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has spoken in favour of Motion 72, which recommended the introduction of domestic leave, at the Sinn Féin Árd Fhéis,

Ms Boylan said:

“20% of women and 6% of men have been abused by their partner. 1 in every 2 women murdered was murdered by their partner or their ex partner.

4,831 requests for refuge could not be met in 2014.  That’s 4,831 people fleeing a violent situation being turned away and in many cases they will have no choice but to return to their abusive partners or become homeless.

As a society this shameful.  Domestic Violence is a social crime not a private matter and it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure that as a society there is zero tolerance for it.

It is our duty as a society to put in place every possible measure that we can to help those who find themselves in such a terrible situation to be able to escape it.

That means full ratification of the Istanbul Convention and a full reversal of cuts. We cannot stand over women being turned away from refuges due to lack of bed spaces.

That means recognising domestic violence as a crime and all the associated controlling behaviour of an abusive partner.

That means a review of the habitual residency rules.  It is not right that as a society we deny individuals access to supports because they have not lived here long enough, or have returned to Ireland to flee abuse.  It is not right that migrant women are held hostage to their abusive partners because they control the documents.

It is not right that 2% of employees in Ireland have lost their job as a result of taking excessive leave.  Financial Independence is the key to escaping abusive relationships.  A 2016 workplace in Ireland should protect its workers not further victimise them.

Ireland 2016 must act collectively to stamp out domestic violence.  As a society we can only be judged on our actions and so far our actions are failing these men and women.

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