Written Answers. - Intergovernmental Committee on Domestic Violence.

Frances Fitzgerald


98 Ms F. Fitzgerald asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress, if any, which has been made in the establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee on Domestic Violence. [16343/96]

The office of the Tánaiste has been assigned responsibility, at central Government level, for co-ordinating action to deal with the problem of violence against women. The office has had discussions with relevant Government Departments and other interested groups on this issue. Arising from these contacts, it has been decided to establish a working group to develop a co-ordinated response and strategy on mental, physical or sexual violence against women — with a particular focus on domestic violence. The group will: examine existing services and supports — emergency, interim and long-term — for women who have been subjected to violence; examine legislation dealing with the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and make recommendations on how legislation, services and supports could be improved and made more effective.

The group will also examine the causes of violence against women (including if necessary, initiating research) and make recommendations for a comprehensive preventative strategy as well as looking at rehabilitation programmes for perpetrators of such crimes. Individual Government Departments and agencies will continue to be responsible for the actual development and delivery of services for women who have been the victims of violence. Membership of the working group will be drawn from relevant Government Departments and State agencies. It will also include individual experts and practitioners from relevant service delivery areas. The group will be chaired by Deputy Eithne Fitzgerald, Minister of State at the Office of the Tánaiste, and details of the composition of the group will be announced shortly.