Report finds laws play part in violence between Traveller families

Report finds laws play part in violence between Traveller families

The Government is being called on to re-examine laws which, it is claimed, negatively impact on the Traveller community.

A new report suggests laws around trespassing, market trading and the keeping of horses play a part in the levels of violence between Traveller

families.

The report, which is being launched later by the Minister of State for Equality, David Stanton, highlights the need for a State-sponsored response to tackle the issue.

The new report into inter-family violence among Travellers has found the problem is commonplace, and is added to by high levels of poverty, exclusion, and poor accommodation.

Thomas McCann, director of the Traveller Counselling Service, said inter-family violence has devastating consequences.

Mr McCann said: "The effect on families, individuals, children, such as people staying up all night because of fear that something might happen.

"Also children and young adults that have been exposed to violence are more likely to participate in violence and the mental health effects last much longer after the physical effects have healed."

He revealed that the report stemmed from a meeting on the issue earlier this year.

He said: "There was a number of recommendations in the report, certainly there was a strong need for a Traveller-led, State-supported programme that supports people to move away from inter-family violence and putting in structures to support them to do that, whether that's mediation, emotional supports for families that are caught up in this."

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