Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Lynch calls for need to legislate to tackle domestic violence

Published: 5 June, 2015

Sinn Fein MLA Sean Lynch has called for the need to legislate to tackle the crimes of domestic and sexual violence in the North and has praised the work of Women's Aid.

Speaking during the consideration stage of the Justice Bill in the Assembly, Mr Lynch said,

"I recently met Women's Aid in Enniskillen, and regarding the degree of domestic violence that exists, it was a learning experience, to say the least. Domestic abuse thrives on happening in private, but it is a matter of public concern and as legislators, we should be doing all that is possible to tackle the perpetrators of this grave crime.

"The degree of domestic violence that occurs in the present day is astounding. On average, in the North alone, five women lose their life to domestic violence each year. PSNI statistics indicate that 27,628 domestic violence incidents and 12,720 abuse crimes were reported in 2013-14. In fact, an incidence of domestic violence is reported to the police every 19 minutes.

"Inevitably, Women's Aid across the North need more resources to cope with the people whom they are meeting on a daily basis and it is in that context that I welcome this series of amendments. They will offer a new tool - namely, domestic violence protection orders and domestic violence protection notices - to police officers who are responding to domestic violence.

A member of the Justice Committe, Mr Lynch continues,

"Domestic abuse does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, religion, age, race or sexuality. Therefore these amendments are a much needed opportunity to introduce the provisions that would provide greater protections for those suffering domestic violence and those at risk of domestic abuse.

"I am pleased to say that we have a good working relationship with our local branch of Women's Aid in Enniskillen and I look forward to building upon that to legislate against, and hopefully eradicate, domestic violence from our society." ENDS