Written answers

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Department of Justice and Equality

Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Photo of Jennifer Murnane O'ConnorJennifer Murnane O'Connor (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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28. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she has proposals to ease the legal and courts process for victims of gender and domestic violence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25989/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this matter as protecting and supporting victims of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a key priority for me as Minister.

When someone who has suffered any form of DSGBV comes forward and turns to our legal and courts process, we know this can be an incredibly daunting prospect.

We need to ensure we have a system that does everything it can to support and protect them on that journey and make sure they do not become re-victimised by the system at any point or by anyone they encounter as they engage with it.

We also know that historically this was not always the case and major reform was both needed and long overdue.

It has been my aim since I became Minister to ensure that when victims of such crimes begin to engage with the legal system, they will know what to expect, what their legally enforceable rights are and the supports available at every step in the process. We are working to increase and strengthen the level of supports available and to ensure that victims are aware of, and receive, those supports.

These initiatives are, of course, in addition to my ongoing work to support vulnerable victims through the implementation of Supporting a Victim's Journey implementation plan and in the context of developing the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender based violence.

I know the Deputy is aware of how of Supporting a Victim's Journey is progressing from our previous interaction on that matter, including in my response to her question on the 26thof April. In my reply to that question, I provided the Deputy with a full list of how each action was progressing in tabular form as was requested.

In addition to the ongoing work to implement Supporting A Victim's Journey, I would like to inform the Deputy that we are in the final stages of preparing the third national strategy and there are going to be a number of actions in relation to the legal and courts processes included there too. 

There will be actions building on Supporting a Victim's Journey and and there will also be actions to address family law with links to the Family Justice Strategy and an action to enhance access to the Court process. 


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