Irish Policy on Domestic Violence
On Wednesday 20 January 2016 Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality, launched the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and gender-based Violence 2016 - 2021 and Action Plan which was agreed by the Government on the 13 January 2016.
The Strategy, building on its predecessor, which concluded in 2014, envisages a range of actions to be implemented by State, voluntary and community sector organisations aimed at preventing and responding to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
In developing the strategy the Department of Justice and Equality has engaged in extensive consultations with a wide range of State and non-State stakeholders. The Minister held two consultative forums with stakeholders to identify and finalise priorities. The strategy is a result of this work and it contains a range of actions, both legislative and administrative, to be implemented over it’s lifetime.
Ultimately the vision for the Second National Strategy is to make Ireland a safer place. It is structured around three high level goals:
- Prevention, which includes awareness raising, training and education;
- Services to victims and holding perpetrators to account; and
- In support of these goals, data gathering, monitoring and research.
The Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016–2021 contains a number of context setting remarks which articulate the vision behind the strategy and the Action Plan which is a living document that will change, evolve and grow year on year.
Overview of strategy
The overall aims of this strategy are relatively simple to state. We want to:
- Change societal attitudes to support a reduction in domestic and sexual violence
- Improve supports available to victims and survivors and
- Hold perpetrators to account in order to create a safer Ireland.
In support of these objectives we will gather data, encourage research and engage in monitoring.
The actions have a four-fold genesis:
- There are worthwhile actions from the first national strategy which warrant continuation.
- There are actions contained in the Strategy which allowed Ireland to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention) on 8 march 2019, International Women’s Day
- Relevant actions to implement the EU Victims Directive are also included. The Directive was transposed into Irish law with the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017.
- Finally, new actions which resulted from the consultation process to develop the strategy have been included.