- National Maternity Hospital estimate 1 in 8 pregnant women experience violence in the home -
Fianna Fáil Senator and Seanad Group Leader, Catherine Ardagh has said that more focus must be placed by Government on protecting and supporting the victims of domestic abuse offences and sexual crime in Ireland.
Speaking the Seanad earlier today Senator Ardagh said, “While addressing the Safe Ireland conference in Dublin, Dr Rhona Mahony of the National Maternity Hospital expressed many deeply concerning details of domestic violence in this country.
“This kind of serious abuse affects all parts of society, yet shame and stigma are still felt by victims. I do not believe enough is being done to raise awareness of domestic violence.
“Leading organisation Women’s Aid have reported alarmingly high numbers of domestic violence related crimes over the past two years. In fact, some 11,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported annually, yet only few result in arrest.
“Those who are courageous enough to walk out of their home, brave enough to take that leap and get away from their abuser must be better protected by our State run services.
“The Government must bring forward the Domestic Violence Bill for debate in the Oireachtas without any further delay. This legislation is required to effectively address the rise in domestic violence in Ireland.
“Further progress must also be made in removing the stigma towards reporting domestic abuse or sexual violence. I hope that the commitment to establish Garda regional units nationwide will represent an important step in this direction and provide encouragement to women to come forward and report incidents.
“I have recently met with Maria McDonald one of the founders of the Victims' Rights Alliance in an effort to ensure the introduction of the Domestic Violence Bill. I now call on the Minister to attend the Seanad for a debate to discuss the measures needed to proactively support victims and to raise the issue of awareness surrounding domestic violence,” concluded Senator Ardagh.