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Representative groups must be consulted on SAVI II Terms of Reference – McDonald

18 November, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Welcoming the Government’s decision to update the 2002 SAVI research on sexual abuse and violence in Ireland, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said it is now critical that the group examining the scope of the new research consult with all organisations representing and working with victims of domestic, sexual and gender based abuse and violence.

Speaking from the party’s annual Ard Fheis, the Dublin Central TD said:

“It is important to acknowledge the work of those organisations who have argued for some time of the need for the state to invest in updated research dealing with sexual abuse and violence in Ireland. They are to be commended not only for the supports and services they deliver but for keeping the pressure on the Government to deliver a SAVI II report.

“Much has changed in Ireland since the SAVI report was published in 2002. This landmark piece of research was produced prior to the internet. Ireland’s population has grown and our communities have become significantly more diverse.

“These realities make it critically important that the groups who have represented victims of sexual abuse and violence over the last 15 years of change are widely consulted in the drafting of the new research’s Terms of Reference.

“Not only must the existing research be updated, this important piece of work must review areas not covered in the previous report including the significant shortfalls in data collection and management within state agencies such as An Garda Síochána and the Court Services.

“Years of massive under investment in IT infrastructure across the public sector coupled with recruitment moratorium has resulted in information management systems that are simply not fit for purpose. This shortfall has significant cost and service delivery implications.

“There must be no delay to the time frame set out by Government for the initiation of the research. SAVI is now 15 years old. If we are to end the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence in Ireland for the long-term it is incumbent on the state to deliver up-to-date research and data to meet this objective.” 

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