Minister Fitzgerald publishes the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021 and announces a related new national awareness raising campaign·
“Domestic violence and sexual violence are pernicious evils and a blight on any civilised society” - Minister Fitzgerald.
Funding of €950,00 for a national awareness raising campaign
“My aspiration is that the awareness raising campaign will have a significant impact by making a real and substantial difference to people’s lives, offering hope and support to those affected by these despicable crimes and that it will send an irrefutable message to perpetrators that this violence is totally unacceptable in Ireland and that it must stop” - Minister Fitzgerald
20th January, 2016
Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., has today launched the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021 which was agreed by the Government on 13 January 2016.
The strategy, building on its predecessor, which concluded in 2014, envisages a range of actions to be implemented by State, voluntary and community sector organisations aimed at preventing and responding to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
Minister Fitzgerald stated, “Domestic and Sexual Violence are pernicious evils and a blight on any civilised society. Their complex nature requires a whole of Government solution.”
In developing the strategy, Cosc – the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based violence – has engaged in consultations with a wide range of State and non-State stakeholders. The Minister held two consultative forums with stakeholders to identify and finalise priorities. The strategy is a result of this work.
Minister Fitzgerald added, "The Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence reinforces this Government’s ongoing commitment to combat these problems. The overall objective is to make Ireland a safer and better place to live.”
The role of An Garda Síochána and other agencies in the criminal justice system is crucial. Among the strategy’s actions for which An Garda Síochána are responsible is the implementation of a risk assessment for all victims of domestic violence and a focus on recidivists of domestic and sexual violence to prevent and detect crime. A planned and managed approach by An Garda Síochána to each report of a domestic violence incident is provided for including personally calling to victims, in depth risk assessment and the provision of information.
There are also new actions in relation to the provision of provision of education and training of public sector staff involved in this area, by An Garda Síochána, Courts Service, Probation Service, Tusla and HSE. Gaps in academic and professional education for service providers in the community and voluntary sectors will also be addressed. There is provision for initial training and developmental training for ongoing delivery to legal professionals by the Law Society, Bar Council and King’s Inns.
In launching the second national strategy, the Minister announced that she has secured funding of €950,000 for 2016 to run a new national awareness raising campaign which is a key action in the strategy. The campaign will commence in 2016 and it is intended that it will run for a period of 6 years. It will be subject to EU tendering procedures and consultation with non-governmental (NGO) stakeholders.
Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are crimes that occur in all social classes, all ethnic groups and cultures and among people of every educational background. They are often hidden crimes that can have devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences for victims as well as society as a whole.
This campaign aims to bring about a change in long established societal behaviours and attitudes in relation to domestic and sexual violence, and to activate bystanders with the aim of preventing this violence. The campaign will recognise that women and men are victims of such crimes. The campaign is supported by NGO stakeholders. It is also a requirement under the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention) to promote or conduct public awareness raising campaigns.
The Minister concluded, “My aspiration is that this campaign will have a significant impact by making a real and substantial difference to people’s lives, offering hope and support to those affected by these despicable crimes and that it will send an irrefutable message to perpetrators that this violence is totally unacceptable in Ireland and that it must stop."