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LAW REFORM Zero-tolerance domestic and sexual- based violence strategy will ensure no one ‘turns blind eye’, McEntee says

JUSTICE Helen McEntee said the Government’s plan to combat domestic, gender, and sexual violence is “ambitious.”

The strategy, the third since 2010, has received over €350million.

The number of refugee spots will rise from 141 to 180.

The maximum sentence for assault causing harm will double from 5 to 10 years.

Ms. McEntee says it’s the result of two years of consultation.

She said the plan is “zero-tolerance” and a whole-society approach to preventing violence.

“It means not turning a blind eye to abuse behind closed doors or in a relationship,” the minister said.

It means not laughing off inappropriate comments or touching, in person or on WhatsApp, and teaching younger people what a healthy relationship is.

“It’s thorough.” Some are underway. We’re working on many more after today, but we’re excited to launch today.”

LAW REFORM Zero-tolerance domestic and sexual- based violence strategy will ensure no one ‘turns blind eye’, McEntee says

She’ll work with Tusla before any agency is set up under this plan.

Numerous departments, state-funded organizations, and NGOs support Minister McEntee’s plan.

Protection, prevention, prosecution, and policy coordination are its four pillars.

The minister proposes an initial 18-month implementation plan with 144 actions and timelines.

The strategy will create a statutory agency by January 2024.

The minister said 18 months. This requires working with the sector, with those who understand and know this space, to best establish it.

The legislation takes time.

REFUGE PLACES

The number of refugee places has worried opposition parties.

Róisn Shortall, co-leader of the Social Democrats, said the strategy falls short of what’s required under the Istanbul Convention.

People Before Profit’s Brd Smith said domestic violence shelters are insufficient and lack urgency.

Women’s Aid CEO Sarah Benson said her organization “applauds the ambition” of the plan, but it wants a dedicated centralized focus in Government to tackle not just service provision or policy, but also coordinated policy.

She lauded Ms. McEntee’s “incredibly hard work”

The CEO of Offaly Domestic Violence Service welcomed doubling refuge spaces over five years and expanding to every county.

Anne Clarke, a Safe Ireland board member, said it’s hard to move people from refugees to private housing.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

She said nine counties lack emergency housing and domestic violence victims are reluctant to move.

Ms. Clarke said this means most stay.

She said, “They make child-centered decisions.” Their kids won’t miss school.

“They won’t want to remove kids from support networks and activities.

It’s hard to reduce the risk for someone in an abusive relationship.

Ms. Clarke believes doubling the maximum sentence for assault causing harm will help domestic abuse victims.

“They won’t want to remove kids from support networks and activities.

It’s hard to reduce the risk for someone in an abusive relationship.

Ms. Clarke believes doubling the maximum sentence for assault causing harm will help domestic abuse victims.

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