Tag Archives: 9th Dec

Senator Ivana Bacik calls for debate on Domestic Violence and Rape Law.

Speaking in the Seanad yesterday, Senator Ivana Bacik called for an urgent debate on domestic violence and rape law, saying:

“As we near the end of the Women’s Aid ‘16 Days’ campaign highlighting the incidence of domestic violence, I think we need an urgent debate in this House to discuss the inadequacies in our legislation for protections for victims of domestic violence. We also need to discuss how best to prevent the incidence of such violence.”

Commending the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland for their conference on rape law held Monday 7th December, Senator Bacik said:

“The study launched yesterday and carried out by Conor Hanly and his team from NUI Galway has made the shocking finding that only one third of rape cases reported to the Gardai lead to the taking of criminal prosecutions by the DPP. The study also found that a narrow stereotype of rape victims may be a factor in the low numbers of rape cases proceeding to trial. We need to look at our rape laws, and our prosecution and trial processes generally, to see how to ensure that more complaints of rape are prosecuted within the criminal justice system.”

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Angela O’Neill De Guilio , Regional Director, Concern Worldwide, supports the 16 Days Campaign

 

“Concern Worldwide would like to congratulate Women’s Aid for your annual campaign to raise awareness of the reality of domestic violence and to push for positive change to make women safer in their own homes.  

Violence against women is all pervasive yet very much under recognized as a human rights violation.  In our work internationally, it is a problem of extreme magnitude.  We see that the nature and extend of violence can vary across cultures and countries.  Forms of violence include female genital mutilation, honour killings, acid throwing and dowry killings to name but a few.  Some forms of violence such as domestic violence and rape are endemic across cultures and social strata but violence also has close links with poverty.

For millions of women and girls living in poverty experiencing violence is their reality as they struggle to survive, there are often forced into transactional sex in order to pay for food or school fees, This increases their vulnerability to HIV and other health related problems.

A study conducted by Concern in Malawi found a significant level of violence against girls in school. Violence against young girls attending school is an enormous issue in developing countries. It is not surprising that parents keep their children at home, depriving them of an education because of the fear of violence, that may take place in school or on the way to and from school.

WHO estimates that globally 150 million girls have been raped and suffered other forms of sexual violence. We know that conflict exacerbates the situation further with rape a significant feature of conflicts.  

Concern’s experience informs us that we cannot address poverty without addressing the underlying causes of gender inequality, which is undoubtedly at the root cause of violence against women.  Concern is working with women’s self help groups, which may have an initial focus on economic empowerment leading women to increasing access to resources and decision making in their household whilst also positively impacting on the self esteem and status . The approach requires that the men of the household are engaged with the project.  Engaging men is considered an essential ingredient to bringing about lasting change. 

It is essential that a commitment to ending violence against women exists at all levels from government to institutions at community and family level.   Women and girls need to be empowered to stand up and report violence but a supportive and enabling environment where men are actively engaged and support real change must also exist for action to be taken and change to take place.

The 16 Days of Action is an opportunity to create awareness and renew our commitment to ending violence against women and girls.  Many of Concern’s country teams are carrying out activities and events over the 16 Days.   All our equality champions in our 28 countries of operation will receive the 16 facts for 16 days. Our website will feature the campaign and provide updates from our country programmes; briefing sessions will be held with our staff to create awareness and learn from experiences in other countries.

We are delighted to join with you in this campaign to end violence against women.”

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Day 15 of the Campaign

As the 16 Days Campaign draws to a close, there are still plenty of interesting events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

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