Kelly dissatisfied with domestic abuse strategy delay
“The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety has been searching for an effective strategy to tackle the rising problem of domestic and sexual violence since 2013, and yet, the public consultation on the issue that finished in April has still not been published despite receiving 68 responses. The strategy is currently on its 19th draft and has been postponed until 2015. This issue is simply too important to suffer any more delays.
“Most worryingly perhaps is the seeming ineffectiveness of Alternatives and Community Restorative Justice Northern Ireland who have so far referred no cases of domestic or sexual abuse for 2014. I have tabled a question to the PSNI to confirm these figures but suspected community cover-ups where victims are forced into silence by former paramilitaries appears to be prevalent and amid increased reports, massive under reporting of abuse is rife.
“At a time when women’s aid sector is worried about cuts to their funding, we cannot put the safety of people, mostly women and children, on the back burner anymore. It is a most basic right for a person to be safe in their own home and as their government we have a duty to ensure they are.”