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Ó Snodaigh welcomes National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency

7 May, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice, Equality, and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the launch of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency as "an essential step in the right direction to combat a serious and pervasive social problem affecting nearly one in five Irish women." Attending the launch at Dublin Castle, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"Sinn Féin believes that every woman, man, older person, and child has an equal right to safety and security in their homes, and to live free of abuse in their personal and family relationships. But we know the appalling statistics -- particularly concerning violence against women in Irish society. Almost one in five Irish women have been abused by a current or former partner. Almost one quarter of perpetrators of sexual violence against women as adults are intimate partners or ex-partners. Fully 88% of domestic violence fatalities have a documented history of physical abuse.

"In Sinn Féin's Pre-Budget Submission we called on the Government to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves by dedicating more resources to this area and developing an integrated response. So I am very pleased that this initiative has now been launched, and I look forward to positive results for the women, men, and children directly affected, and for our communities as a whole. Studies from other countries have also shown the high economic cost of domestic violence, and so from every point of view - social and economic - this whole initiative is a good investment.

"I pay tribute to the many volunteers and groups like Women's Aid who have worked so hard over many years to bring this issue into the public domain, to destigmatise those who suffer abuse, and to convince politicians of the importance of action on this issue. Their hard work has made this significant development a reality and they deserve to be congratulated."ENDS

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