Cosc links with Tusla and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in relation to domestic and sexual violence involving children. Cosc also links with the Office for Older People in relation to domestic and sexual violence involving older people.
The National Steering Committee on Violence against Women
The Government established the National Steering Committee on Violence against Women (NSCVAW) in 1998 on foot of a recommendation of the Task Force on Violence against Women. The Task Force recommended that the membership of the Committee should include representatives from the key Government Departments, the Garda Síochána, Health Boards, GPs, Probation Service, and users of services. The Task Force considered it essential that the NSC include representatives from the key organisations in the sector operating on a national basis such as, and in particular, Women’s Aid and the national representative bodies for women’s refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.
The NSCVAW met on a quarterly basis. As a national committee, the membership comprised of bodies which broadly functioned at national level. Cosc provided administrative support to the NSCVAW and the Director of Cosc chairs the Committee.
The present membership of the Committee includes the Departments of Justice and Equality, Education and Skills, Health, and the Environment,Community and Local Government. Other State agencies include An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, the Courts Service, the Probation Service and the Family Support Agency. Non-state organisations represented on the Committee include SAFE Ireland (formerly the National Network of Women’s Refuges and Support Services), Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Network Ireland, Ruhama, the Law Society, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, AkidWa and Pavee Point.
With the agreement of the NSCVAW, Cosc reviewed the remit and functioning of the NSCVAW in early 2008 in order to put in place a better structure for working in partnership. The new remit of the NSCVAW is to:
• advise on the development and implementation of policies and guidelines for action on domestic and sexual violence against women including those concerning services and supports, perpetrators, and State intervention;
• advise on research to be undertaken and needs assessments nationally;
• assist Cosc in the promotion of interagency co-operation and sharing of information;
• assist and advise Cosc in the development of codes of practice for collecting statistics and monitoring responses;
• assist and advise Cosc in promoting public awareness about the issues involved in violence against women;
• assist and advise Cosc in identification of legal issues affecting the prevention of, and action responding to, violence against women;
• share information on international developments in relation to the issue of violence against women.
The Task Force also recommended in their report that Regional Planning Committees be established in each of the eight former health board regions to draw together the services available to women in each of these regions in order to consolidate an approach to the treatment of victims of violence. In 2009 the HSE in conjunction with Cosc restructured the 8 Regional Planning Committees (RPC) into 8 Regional Advisory Committees (RACs).These committees are to focus strategically on the services and needs in their regions as proposed by the 1997 Task Force Report . The RACs feed information to and from their regions and local area networks into the NSCVAW and Cosc. The RACs provide representation to the NSCVAW meetings.
The NSCVAW also oversees two sub committees - The Legal Issues Sub Committee and the Public Awareness Sub Committee. The work plan for these committees is agreed with the NSCVAW and their Chairs attend the NSCVAW meetings as requested and report to the Committee.
The structure and membership of the NSCVAW can be viewed by clicking on the below link
The National Steering Committee on Violence Against Men
Cosc set up the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Men (NSCVAM) in late 2011 with the ultimate aim of improving the protection and services for men who are, or may become, victims of domestic violence.
The NSCVAM will be of great benefit in tackling violence against men. Advice from the committee will inform Cosc’s work with all parties to produce real action, to facilitate inter-agency work and to maximise enhancements across the system
The NSCVAM remit is to :
advise Cosc on the implementation of the National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2010 – 2014 in relation to violence against men;
advise on the development and implementation of policies and guidelines for action on domestic and sexual violence against men including those concerning services and supports, perpetrators, and State intervention;
assist Cosc in the promotion of interagency co-operation and sharing of information;
assist and advise Cosc in promoting public awareness about the issues involved in violence against men;
assist and advise Cosc in the identification of legal issues affecting the prevention of, and action responding to, violence against men;
advise on research to be undertaken and needs assessments nationally;
share information on international developments in relation to the issue of violence against men.
The principles of membership of the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Men are as follows.
The NSCVAM will include State and non-State organisations.
Membership should be confined to organisations with a broad range of relevant expertise.
Member organisations must have significant experience at high level representation, in matters relating to violence against men.
Members must be in a position to bring to the NSCVAM expertise in areas of major relevance.
Member organisations must be representative of significant stakeholders in action to prevent and respond to violence against men
Membership must support an effective NSCVAM and careful consideration must be given to whether the admission of new members would militate against the effective operation of the NSCVAM.
Essentially organisations wishing to join the NSCVAM must have expertise and experience which is relevant to violence against men.