Clare Bailey MLA

PSNI stats show that we must do more for victims of domestic abuse

Thursday 17 May 2018

Clare Bailey MLA has said that the austerity agenda must not be prioritised ahead of the rights of and obligations to domestic abuse survivors.

The South Belfast MLA spoke as PSNI official stats recorded 14,560 domestic abuse crimes in the past 12 months, the highest level since the data series began in 2004/05.

Clare Bailey MLA said:

“These figures give both cause for concern and optimism – I’m clearly concerned that domestic abuse is rife across Northern Ireland. However, I’m optimistic that survivors feel able to report abuse to police and seek help.

“I’m calling on the PSNI to ensure that Public Protection Units are adequately resourced so that they can improve investigative outcomes for domestic abuse victims. The Service also must ensure that officers across all areas are trained to recognise the complexity of domestic abuse and support victims in every way possible.

“I’m also calling on Secreatary of State Karen Bradley MP to send a message to her Tory Cabinet colleagues – the austerity agenda should not make people more vulnerable to domestic abuse.

“We know that Women’s Aid and other support services are struggling with reduced government funding. Pressures on our health and social care system also make life more difficult for those at risk from domestic abuse.

“The despicable rape clause tax credits exemption is an example of how austerity policies present real danger to victims of domestic abuse”.

The Green Party Justice Spokesperson concluded:

“I’m meeting the Shailesh Vara MP, Under Secretary of State, later today and, amongst other matters, I’ll be speaking out for for the growing number of domestic abuse victims across Northern Ireland.”

ENDS

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