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Istanbul Convention must be springboard to combat violence against women - Senator Paul Gavan

25 June, 2019 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has hailed Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention as a "significant step in the battle to eradicate violence against women".

Speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) this afternoon Senator Gavan said:

“This year’s International Women’s Day finally marked Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

“It is thanks to the campaigning efforts of those who have experienced domestic violence and those that advocate on their behalf that we have reached this milestone.

“The fundamental aim of the Istanbul Convention is the creation of a Europe free from violence against women and domestic violence. Its importance cannot be understated."

Senator Gavan highlighted how the Convention forced the Irish Government to finally enact significant domestic violence legislation and to make coercive control a criminal offence for the first time.

The Limerick-based Senator also used the opportunity of a debate on the Istanbul Convention to call for further action to tackle the epidemic of violence against women and domestic violence.

He continued:

“One in five women in Ireland will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives. They may be sexually abused or physically assaulted.

“Most will feel a deep sense of shame and isolation. They will be terrified for their children. Every aspect of their life outside the home will be impacted by the abuse they experience within it.

“The Convention firmly establishes the link between achieving gender equality and the eradication of violence against women.

“But we must not limit our ambitions to the Convention itself. Paid domestic violence leave underpinned in legislation and a system of multi- agency Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) must become the norm in every member state.

“We can and must work together to eradicate gender-based and domestic violence.”

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