Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) welcomes draft Programme for Government

15th June 2020

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) welcomes today’s draft Programme for Government

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) welcomes today’s draft Programme for Government. It is encouraging to see commitment to much-needed, transformative measures, and lessons taken from Ireland’s response to Covid-19.

In particular, RCNI is pleased to see that the urgent need for an immediate audit on governmental responsibility for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence has been recognised. This encouraging commitment is a priority issue for RCNI and we look forward to working in collaboration to bring our expertise and best thinking to the government in this endeavour.

Clíona Saidléar, Executive Director of RCNI said: “RCNI look forward to working with the government in auditing how sexual, domestic, and gender-based violence is held across government. Over the Covid-19 crisis we have found ways to work very effectively across government but the gaps and silos also became apparent to all. We look forward to the development of a fit for purpose infrastructure in the lifetime of this government under this programme.

But, RCNI caution. ‘this significant and vital promise of this Programme of Government needs to be held by a government Minister with a voice at the cabinet table. This is potentially a deeply progressive action which will create a lasting legacy preventing sexual and domestic violence. Together we can work towards an Ireland where everyone is free from sexual violence and the fear and threat of sexual violence.’

RCNI also welcomes the priorities on Family Law, supporting and protecting victims, online safety, sex education in schools and the embedding of the Consent Framework in Higher Education Institutes.

We are interested to see a night time economy taskforce and focus on alcohol harm as we are seeing an opportunity to build a new safer nighttime economy for all.

RCNI are also energised by the proposals under public sector reform and social dialogue. These measures demonstrate a government that is seeking to transform and strengthen our communities, public engagement, cross government innovation and responsiveness and our democracy. This is a programme with ambition to pro-actively shape our post-Covid society in kinder and more inclusive ways.

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For comment please contact Natalie Robinson: 0833682229.

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