Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD, has said today that figures show a disturbingly low rate of detection and sanction of sexual offences and other forms of gender-based violence.
Speaking on the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, Teachta Kenny said the state must do more to support victims of abuse and gendered violence.
Teachta Kenny said:
“Today is the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. I want to commend all those working on this crucial issue, from campaigners, to volunteers and workers in the sector.
“Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime. As a society we must send the clear and unequivocal message that abuse is never ok and that victims will be believed and supported when they seek help.
“A key part of this is that the Garda Siochána leadership has to ask why it is the case that while nearly 90% of drug related offences are detected and sanctioned, just 12% of sexual offences are.
“Sexual offences are more commonly reported to the Gardaí, rather than detected, and the question must be asked if reports are being taken seriously when these stark statistics are published.
“Meanwhile, Women’s Aid has launched its Too Into You campaign and reported on research indicating a high level of abuse suffered by young women in relationships.
“They have published research today which finds as many as one in five women aged 18-25 have experienced abuse from a current or former partner. This is very concerning.
“It is clear that much more needs to be done to send the message to abusers that their behaviour is unacceptable and has no place in our society.
“There is an undeniable need for education, support and resources to back up the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, which allows for barring and protection orders against partners or former partners.
“We also need to see the urgent enactment of the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017 to prevent intimate images being disseminated on the internet. I and my Sinn Féin colleagues are committed to working constructively with all parties to ensure that this important legislation is progressed urgently to provide much-needed protections for victims.”