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Assembly to debate domestic violence

28 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Women, West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann has said not just politicians but everyone in society should talk openly about the issue of domestic violence and violence against women.

Speaking ahead of a Sinn Féin sponsored Assembly debate on Domestic violence at Stormont tomorrow, Tuesday 29th May, Ms McCann said:

"It is important not just politicians, but that everyone in our society, takes responsibility for discussing the issue of domestic violence and violence against women.

"Domestic violence is a difficult issue but we can not shy away from it because the more we talk about it the more we can challenge attitudes.

"Domestic violence is a crime.

"Violence against women is a serious serious issue and I share the concerns with many women that the legal response such crimes has been and continues to be totally unsatisfactory. I believe that this debate is just the start in a process that must and will include a full investigation of civil and criminal legislation and crucially sentencing patterns and conviction/detection rates in relation to violent crimes against women.

Note to Editors

The Women's Aid Federation estimate that a quarter of all women experience domestic violence at some stage in their lives and almost half the women who are murdered are killed by their partners. Every year in the north around 17,000 women contact Women's Aid for advice and around 3000 women and children stay in refuges.

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