Sinn Féin MLA Aisling Reilly has said that victims and survivors of sexual offences have been let down by one party’s blockade of the Assembly.
The West Belfast MLA said:
“It is heart-breaking to hear the story of victims of sexual offences who have been further traumatised by the criminal justice process.
“Victims of rape and sexual assault are still facing unacceptable obstacles in the justice system which need to be addressed so victims have the confidence to report crimes.
“None of these complaints are new, they are ongoing issues which should be dealt with by now. That is why we had the Gillen Review, and that is why the Criminal Justice Inspectorate recently carried out its review as well.
“Due to the DUP’s boycott of the Assembly, outstanding recommendations of the Gillen Review cannot be implemented. This is also affecting the implementation of the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy.
“We need a restored Executive and Assembly as soon as possible. This is vital if we are to better support women and young girl victims and survivors of violence, and deliver the supports and protections too long denied to them.”