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Mary Lou McDonald backs European call to tackle violence against women and children

5 September, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has backed calls in the European Parliament for the EU to take a proactive stand against violence, particularly against children, young people and women.

Ms McDonald was speaking in favour of an EU report by Lissy Groner MEP

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"I want to welcome this report regarding the 'Fight against violence (Daphne)' strategy between 2007 and 2013.

"Violence against women, children and young people is an ever increasing phenomenon and a fundamental breach of the human rights of some of the most vulnerable sections of our society. Such violence can also have a lasting adverse impact upon children who, whilst not physically affected, may witness such violence.

"The report has also been amended to take account of the barbaric practice of people trafficking. In a 2005 'Trafficking in Persons' report it was estimated that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors.

"Here in Ireland it is essential that we take stock of the resources available to tackle the problem and support people leaving relationships where violence occurs, particularly against children, young people and women. It is vital that people who are affected know where to turn to for support and advice. We have to acknowledge and accept that violence within relationships is widespread and that many many instances of violence go unrecorded.

"My hope is that this strategy at European level can help assist and support those most at risk from violence. The EU has a major opportunity to work in conjunction with member states to begin to effectively deal with this growing problem within society." ENDS

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