Ensure that victims are supported
Fianna Fáil strongly supported the Domestic Violence Act 2018 and is proud to have worked in formulating a number of amendments so ensuring that the legislation, as enacted, represents a more victim centred approach to prosecuting crimes of this nature.
Significant work needs to continue to ensure that the victim blaming culture that is often prevalent in this country is reversed. Societal attitudes need to change if we are to see a reduction in domestic violence. It is difficult to implement this change in the absence of up to date data and so Fianna Fáil is committed to commissioning regular reviews.
A trend has emerged over the last number of releases from the Central Statistics Office: crime statistics published by the CSO show a continuing increase in the number of incidents of rape and other sexual offences. This trend is showing no sign of abating. Action needs to be taken to stop this.
Fianna Fáil will consider introducing legislation granting paid leave to domestic violence victims. Allowing victims leave enables them to put in place practical measures to get out of the relationship such as moving house, settling children in new school etc.
Fianna Fáil’s plan to address domestic violence and sexual offences
Regular studies and review
Ensure that there is a comprehensive study carried out at least every five years into the prevalence of sexual crimes and domestic violence in the State.
Pass laws to help victims
Progress legislation introduced by Fianna Fáil (the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) (Amendment) Bill (2017) to ensure that during an investigation into offences involving sexual violence, gender based violence or violence in a close relationship the victim should be provided with relevant information and legal advice, provided by a Solicitor funded by the Minister for Justice and Equality identifying for the victim the necessary steps and actions that the victim shall have to take should the complaint proceed to a prosecution on indictment.
Make SATUs open 24/7
Ensure that Sexual Assault Treatment Units are open on a 24 hour basis, 7 days a week and facilitate the roll out of additional Sexual Assault Treatment Units.
Fund our rape crisis centres
Ensure there is consistent and sustained funding provided to rape crises centres.