Green Party Councillor Lauren Kendall has commented on the PSNI’s approach to domestic violence.
Cllr Kendall, who sits on the Police and Community Safety Partnership in Ards and North Down, said: "It is deeply troubling that the rates of crimes of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Northern Ireland are rising. Domestic abuse and gender-based violence is deeply entrenched in our society: one in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. We must do all we can to ensure people are safe in their own homes, and receive support to report these crimes.
"I am relieved to see that the PSNI has begun to roll out training for officers that will support victims and survivors of domestic abuse ahead of the new Domestic Abuse Act coming into force in 2022. This is a positive move from the PSNI, and a welcome addition to their existing ‘Safe Place’ and ‘pro arrest and pro-charge’ policies.
"But we must not stop there. Victims need to be supported and listened to but they also need faith that perpetrators will be prosecuted. The criminal justice system must act for victims, and ensure that arrests result in convictions.
“I support the important work that my Green Party colleague Rachel Woods MLA is doing in Stormont to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Her Safe Leave Bill will introduce a statutory provision of at least 10 days of paid leave a year for victims and survivors, which will make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Media contact: Jack O'Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)