RCNI welcomes today’s opening of Consultation on the Third National Strategy to Combat Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and its stated goal of ‘zero tolerance’ of violence against women and girls.
In particular, we strongly welcome the proposed new dedicated agency on DSGBV which will be established on a statutory basis and which will be responsible for both policy and services, under the Minister for Justice.
Says Cliona Saidlear, Executive Director of Rape Crisis Network Ireland:
‘This will be this Government’s legacy in the struggle to eradicate violence against women as it will sustain the sector and our capacity to understand the causes of DSGBV and drive solutions into the future, allowing us to create real change.’
Alongside the proposed Cabinet sub-committee on DSGBV, this measure will ensure that sexual violence as well as other forms of violence will get the prominence and the dedicated focus they deserve. This must be matched with adequate resources, staffing and levels of autonomy for the agency in its work. Furthermore, this strategy for the first time integrates the child victim into the consideration of DSGBV – this will be transformative and we commend the Minister and her colleagues for taking this step.
Other positive initiatives include:
- the recognition of the need for close collaboration with specialist NGOs including service provider NGOs;
- the framing of the Strategy in Istanbul Convention terms that focus on Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Policy Co-Ordination;
- the emphasis on the importance of research and data collection to monitor and evaluate trends, outcomes and efficiency as well as imagine and develop solutions.
The Third National Strategy is presented as an open, working document and RCNI looks forward to future collaboration with the Department of Justice and other State and non-State agencies to help ensure the Strategy reaches its full potential and continue to evolve in its ambition and capacity.