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24th Jan 2020

Domestic abuse shouldn’t be a ‘marginal issue’ for #GE2020, says charity

Jade Hayden

“Domestic violence and abuse is a crime.”

Domestic abuse shouldn’t be a “marginalised issue” for parties ahead of next month’s General Election.

Women’s Aid have urged domestic violence to become a headline issue in the election, stating that the problem still affects thousands of women and families around the country.

The charity are urging the public to make domestic abuse reform a priority on the doorstep in the weeks leading up to the election.

CEO Sarah Benson asked this week if people were so blind or immune to the suffering behind closed doors?”

“Domestic violence and abuse is a crime,” she said. “It can result in stress, short and long term trauma and physical injuries, an in extreme cases, death.”

“It is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of women and children across Ireland. However, it is not seen as a priority issue for the majority of candidates, political parties and media commentators during election time.”

Benson added that domestic abuse remains to be a “serious public safety issue” with recent figures from An Garda Síochána suggesting that they receive upwards of 500 related calls per week.

“Much has been done in the last number of years to address violence against women,” she said. “Such as the Domestic Violence Act 2018 and the ratification of the Istanbul treaty.”

“However, more needs to be done to increase protection for women and children vulnerable to abuse.”

Benson urged voters to question politicians on the doorstep about their plans to tackle Ireland’s domestic abuse problem, by asking about issue such as funding, reform to the criminal justice system, and family law system resources.

“We need to see real proposals to improve supports for women and children,” said Benson.

“We need a Government and elected representatives that will transform the system tasked with providing safety and protection for victims.”

Women’s Aid’s manifesto summary can be found here. 

You can find out what the parties have said about Ireland’s domestic abuse issue ahead of next month’s General Election here.