International experts will tackle the subject of domestic violence at a two-day conference opening today.
Academics and frontline practitioners from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia will address delegates at 'Stopping Domestic Violence: What Works?'
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern will open the event hosted by Cosc – the national office for the prevention of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – in Waterford Institute of Technology.
The health sector’s contribution to tackling domestic violence and abuse in the home against men and older people will be among the issues highlighted.
Others issues to be explored include the integration of interventions tackling domestic violence and specialised versus non-specialised courts
Guest speakers include New York’s district attorney Charles J Hynes and chief prosecutor Wanda Lucibello, senior advisor to the Metropolitan Police Prof Elizabeth Stanko, and male victims development officer Mark Coulter.
Cosc is also sponsoring a public art exhibition under the theme 'Sanctuary' in the Coast Guard Station, Tramore, which runs until June 15.
A spokesperson said domestic violence is sadly a feature of Irish family life.
“It is under-reported, victims often feel stigma and shame, and many lack confidence in the system,” she said.
“It is vital therefore that those experiencing domestic violence are assured that they will experience sanctuary, and that society will protect and support them to recover from their ordeal.”