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Need for audit and reconfiguration of criminal and family law to deal with domestic violence - Martin Kenny TD

26 September, 2019 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has today supported the calls from Women’s Aid for an audit and reconfiguration of the criminal and family law systems to better deliver justice, safety and consistency for victims of domestic violence.

Deputy Kenny said:

“I congratulate Women’s Aid on its continued advocacy for victims of domestic violence and its admirable work in consulting women and compiling the Unheard and Uncounted: Women, Domestic Abuse and the Irish Criminal Justice System report published today.

“However, it is not congratulations but action that victims of domestic violence need. The stark reality is that the separation of the criminal justice and family law systems means that women and children are vulnerable to further abuse, particularly in relation to access and custody arrangements.

“Women’s Aid research also highlights how the system does not consider years of assault and abuse but instead separates each offence and so does not tackle the persistent nature and cumulative impact of violence in a domestic setting.

“It is a sad reflection on our criminal justice system that women reported that their engagement with the system did not leave them feeling safer nor give them a sense that justice had been done. Most said they would not go through the process again.

“These are just some of the findings, most of which point to a need for greater resources in personnel and training and a redesign of the criminal justice system to take account of the unique circumstances of domestic abuse.”

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