Fine Gael TD for Laois/Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has said that Ireland’s signing of the Istanbul Convention reaffirms this Government’s commitment to implementing a zero tolerance attitude to violence against women.
“Ireland, today (Thursday), signed the Council of Europe Convention, commonly referred to as the Istanbul Convention, on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
“This highlights the Government’s commitment to implementing meaningful changes which can help reduce the incidence of domestic violence. It is also essential that better supports are available to victims and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
“The Istanbul Convention is an important instrument in tackling the problem of violence against women. The signing of the convention is just the first step. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, has approved an Action Plan for implementation of the Istanbul Convention outlining the steps to fully ratify the convention.
“Many of the provisions contained in the Istanbul Convention are already being carried out in Ireland and Minister Fitzgerald has met with the community and voluntary sector about the next Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
“In order to fully implement the convention some legislative measures including the new Domestic Violence Bill and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill must be put in place and training is needed for those in the public sector and legal professionals. It is also necessary to implement a national helpline service and to develop a Risk Assessment Matrix by An Garda Síochána.
“The new Domestic Violence Bill, which is currently being drafted, will improve the protections available to victims of domestic and will also make the courts process easier for victims of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence is a terrible crime which should have no place in 21st Century Ireland. Regrettably, domestic violence persists and shockingly thousands of cases still go unreported.
“Today marks an important milestone for all those who have campaigned for better protections and supports for victims of domestic violence.”