McGimpsey & Goggins Unveil Domestic Violence Strategy

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey and Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins joined forces today to signal their commitment to work together to tackle ” the heinous crime of domestic violence”.

The pair this morning launched the second stage of a ‘domestic violence action’ with a number of aims – including a change in the prosecution process to make it easier for victims to be part of it.

Other objectives outlined include:

a new media campaign focusing on the perpetrators of domestic violence;
new guidance to help politicians, health professionals and faith leaders help anybody caught up in domestic violence;
proposals to set up an Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence.
In 2005/06 over 23,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to PSNI – including six deaths.

It is also estimated that at least 11,000 children in Northern Ireland are faced with domestic violence on a daily basis.

Speaking at the launch this morning, Paul Goggins said the Government’s top priority was to protect the public.

“The launch of this second domestic violence action plan demonstrates the commitment by the Northern Ireland Office and the Devolved Administration to join together in tackling this horrific and unacceptable crime.

“We will continue to build on the valuable work that has already been undertaken and delivered since 2005 when Government published the first plan. ”

Michael McGimpsey said the new Assembly was committed to tackling domestic violence.

“It is perhaps some indication of the widespread concern about domestic violence issues in Northern Ireland that one of the earliest debates held in the Assembly, following devolution, was about domestic violence.

“I wish to send out the clear message that domestic violence is a crime which will not be tolerated.”

Tackling Violence at Home ? A Strategy for Addressing Domestic Violence and Abuse in Northern Ireland is a joint publication from the NIO and the Department of Health.

The first action plan was published alongside the strategy and set out the actions proposed from October 2005 to March 2007.