New domestic violence laws needed — Ruane

A Castlebar councillor has called on the government to take “real action” and change the laws on domestic violence in this country.

Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane made the call at the start of the International 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence which runs from November 25 to December 10.

Cllr Ruane said: “One in five women in Ireland experience domestic abuse and much of this is underreported. We need a radical overhaul of how the law deals with the issue in order to ensure that the justice system caters to the needs of abuse victims and keeps them and their children safe.”

Sinn Féin supports the calls of Women’s Aid and other organisations, for the Government to urgently review domestic violence legislation. This would include the criteria for both Safety and Barring Orders, as well as addressing the lack of emergency protection when the courts are not sitting.

“It is also clear that guidelines must be introduced to improve consistency in the granting of orders and the legislation on stalking must be improved,” said Cllr Ruane.

“Mayo Womens' Support Services do trojan work in this county, but are totally underresourced. I am calling on Labour to live up to their election commitment for frontline services such as family refuges. Thousands of women and desperate situations are being turned away from refuges each year because this Government has failed to provide them with adequate funding,” she concluded.

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