Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
Women's Shelters and Domestic Abuse Refuges: Discussion
I will be fairly brief as Deputy Martin Kenny covered much of what I was going to say. I thank each of the members for coming and Deputies Smith and Carroll MacNeill for suggesting this important module.
I agree with Ms McDermott about the State integrated response, which is definitely required. It is depressing to read that with ancillary services, community care, health and hospital care, we seem to have a non-integrated and non-strategic model across a range of services. I hope that can be changed. Ms McDermott mentioned statistics in her opening statement. It is the same with sexual assault and rape cases in that we find difficulty in obtaining up-to-date statistics through An Garda Síochána for recent domestic violence offences. It is easy to get them for public order and criminal damage-type offences but it can be difficult to get up-to-date statistics in this area. We mentioned this in meeting members of An Garda Síochána. Is that the case?
I have two questions for everybody but particularly for Ms McDermott. How do the 2020 statistics, indicating 23,000 incidents or 500 incidents per week, compare with 2019 and 2018? Of the 4,000 breaches, how many translated into prosecutions and convictions? The statistics for that may not be available. Do the witnesses have the same difficulty as we have in obtaining those types of statistics?