Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Domestic Violence

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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435. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the new strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49392/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in all its forms is a priority for me and for Government.

My Department is leading the development across Government of the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence which will place a priority on prevention and reduction and will include a National Preventative Strategy. It will be the most ambitious strategy to date and will radically improve services and supports for victims. The strategy is on track to be developed by my Department in consultation with all relevant Departments and stakeholders with a view to it coming to Government for approval before the end of 2021.

The Department of Justice has partnered with Safe Ireland and the National Women’s Council (NWCI) to provide expert support in developing the new strategy. Among other actions, this includes expert advice on moving to an outcome-focussed framework, the development of a prevention focused strategy, and support for wider public involvement in the consultation phase.

The process is being supported by external research consultants who are working on a number of different elements including a review of the second national strategy, identifying the major issues to be addressed and coordinating public input into the new strategy. The public input to date has included -

- Five geographically focused workshops and 12 thematic workshops (addressing intersectionality and thematic sessions) attended by more than 100 individuals, and

- An online survey which attracted 109 responses, of which 87 were eligible. 77% of respondents were either victims/survivors of DSGBV or family and/or friends of victims/survivors.

Analysis of the feedback at these events is currently being examined.

Interviews with senior decision makers in relevant Departments and agencies have also been undertaken with a view to exploring potential co-design action areas for implementation.

In line with the cross-Government approach being taken in developing this strategy, Minister Humphreys and I recently wrote to all Ministers asking how they can contribute to the strategy. We have also asked the same of all of the relevant agencies in the justice sector, including An Garda Síochána and the Courts Service.

It is my intention to have a draft strategy ready for a further round of public consultation in the coming weeks.

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