Over the past 30 years we have worked with successive governments to address women’s protection, services and prevention of all forms of such violence. The taskforce report of 1997 adopted a UN definition of all forms of violence against women and supported the development of an integrated approach to domestic violence, as well as to rape and sexual assault.
The new COSC office has major shortcomings that gives us cause for serious concern. The new office has a remit that:
n is limited to prevention of domestic violence, sidelining the critical role of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (DJELR) in protecting women and criminalising all forms of VAW.
nfails to hold perpetrators accountable to the criminal justice system.
nfails to identify rape, sexual assault, trafficking, prostitution and pornography as violations.
nexcludes NGO involvement in the new office, and hence the NGOs’ expertise in these areas and
nemphasises raising awareness which international practice has demonstrated to be totally ineffective unless backed up by strong enforcement (as with drink-driving).
We, the undersigned organisations, demand postponement of any further development of the COSC office and request an urgent meeting of the national steering committee on violence against women immediately to review the name, remit and the role of any proposed office integrating work on violence against women.
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Rape Crisis Network
National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency
National Women’s Council of Ireland
Sexual Violence Centre
Irish Observatory on Violence
Freedom from Pornography Campaign
Violence Against Women Programme
National Network of Women’s Refuges