Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Ceisteanna (495)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill


495. Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill asked the Minister for Justice the status of the development of the third national strategy; if it is on track to be completed by the end of 2021; the details of the process for the draft strategy planned to go out to public consultation in September 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44979/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in all its forms is a priority for me and for Government.

My Department is leading the development across Government of the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence which will place a priority on prevention and reduction and will include a National Preventative Strategy. This new Strategy is being co-designed in partnership with the sector. It will be the most ambitious strategy to date and will radically improve services and supports for victims. The strategy is on track to be developed by my Department in consultation with all relevant Departments and stakeholders with a view to it coming to Government for approval before the end of 2021.

The Department of Justice has partnered with Safe Ireland and the National Women’s Council (NWCI) to provide expert support in developing the new strategy. Among other actions, this includes expert advice on moving to an outcome-focussed framework, the development of a prevention focused strategy, and support for wider public involvement in the consultation phase.

The process is being supported by external research consultants who are working on a number of different elements including a review of the second national strategy, identifying the major issues to be addressed and coordinating public input into the new strategy. The public input to date has included -

- Five geographically focused workshops and 12 thematic workshops (addressing intersectionality and thematic sessions) attended by more than 100 individuals, and

- An online survey which attracted 109 responses, of which 87 were eligible. 77% of respondents were either victims/survivors of DSGBV or family and/or friends of victims/survivors.

Analysis of the feedback at these events is currently being examined.

Interviews with senior decision makers in relevant Departments and agencies have also been undertaken with a view to exploring potential co-design action areas for implementation.

In line with the cross Government approach being taken in developing this strategy, Minister Humphreys and I recently wrote to all Ministers asking how they can contribute to the strategy. We will also be asking the same of all of the relevant agencies in the justice sector, including An Garda Síochána and the Courts Service.

It is my intention to have a draft strategy ready for a further round of public consultation in the coming weeks.