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SAVI II must consider significant shortfalls in domestic and sexual violence data collection & analysis by state agencies – McDonald

17 April, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

During an exchange in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan to include a review of domestic and sexual violence data collection and analysis by state agencies in the SAVI II report recently commissioned by Government. 

The Dublin Central TD said: 

“The National Women Council of Ireland this week raised serious concerns in response to a report that An Garda Síochána has been overstating the number of sexual offences reported, by 26% in 2003 and by 6% percent overall for the fourteen years up to 2016. 

“The Women’s Council has described the system wide shortfalls of data collection and analysis by state services that interact with victims of domestic and sexual violence as at ‘crisis point’. 

“Women’s Aid’s annual Impact Report published today provides a disturbing insight into the scale of abuse experienced by women and children in Ireland today. Of particular note are the barriers and dangers women face when trying to leave abusive relationships. 

“There is no sense of urgency emanating from Government on the need to put in place an ambitious suite of policy, legislative and resource solutions to the tackle the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence in Ireland today.

“Completion of the SAVI II report on sexual abuse and violence in Ireland must be prioritised by the Minister for Justice and his cabinet colleagues, and the review must include consideration of the significant shortfalls in data collection and management within state agencies such as An Garda Síochána, Court Services, Tusla and the HSE.

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

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