17 November 2014
Minister Fitzgerald opens Forum on next National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence
· Key stakeholders to help refine priorities for the next National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
· Minister states: “These crimes give rise to corrosive, invidious and pernicious suffering”.
Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. Minister for Justice and Equality opened a Consultation Forum on 17 November 2014 in Dublin Castle. The Forum, which is hosted by Cosc (The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence), gathered stakeholders from state and non-governmental organisations to hear what priorities they would like to see reflected in the new Strategy.
The Minister outlined successes from the first National Strategy and congratulated all who contributed.
The Minister said at the Forum ‘I do have a vision in relation to domestic and sexual violence. At a philosophical level I want to see a world of mutual respect between people where sexual and domestic violence do not occur. However, I must temper this with the experience in Ireland and elsewhere over the last forty years.”
The Minister concluded by saying: ‘What we call sexual, domestic and gender-based violence are crimes against the dignity of human beings and against women in particular. These crimes give rise to corrosive, invidious and pernicious suffering.’
The Minister has committed to comprehensively strengthening Ireland's approach to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual and domestic violence. This will include separate legislation on domestic violence and on sexual offences. The Minister underlined the importance of the consultation exercise in developing a new strategy.
She outlined elements that will form part of the new strategy:
Ø an action plan for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence also known as the Istanbul convention;
Ø legislative and administrative arrangements necessary to transpose the EU Victims Directive into national law by November 2015; and
Ø actions deemed worthwhile to continue from the first strategy.