Ire­land crit­i­cised for not rat­i­fy­ing 2015 con­ven­tion on vi­o­lence against women

Irish Examiner - - News - Con­all Ó Fátharta

Ire­land has yet to rat­ify a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tion com­bat­ing vi­o­lence against women, de­spite sign­ing up to it in 2015.

The Coun­cil of Europe Con­ven­tion on Pre­vent­ing and Com­bat­ing Vi­o­lence against Women and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence, bet­ter known as the Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion, pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive frame­work to tackle vi­o­lence against women.

It was signed by Ire­land in Novem­ber 2015 but has not yet been rat­i­fied.

The Ir­ish Ob­ser­va­tory on Vi­o­lence Against Women, an in­de­pen­dent net­work of 18 grass­roots and na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions, has called on the Gov­ern­ment to rat­ify the con­ven­tion at a sem­i­nar in Dublin.

One in five women ex­pe­ri­ence do­mes­tic abuse in Ire­land. Nine out of 10 women are killed by some­one known to them. Fig­ures point to 56% of vic­tims dy­ing at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.

Orla O’Con­nor, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Women’s Coun- cil of Ire­land and chair of the Ir­ish Ob­ser­va­tory on Vi­o­lence Against Women, said while there had been progress among Gov­ern­ment and State agen­cies with re­spect to tack­ling vi­o­lence against women, fail­ing to rat­ify the con­ven­tion was a missed op­por­tu­nity.

“Im­ple­ment­ing the Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion is an op­por­tu­nity to bring about the sys­tem­atic and in­sti­tu­tional change needed to fa­cil­i­tate the pro­tec­tion of women and the ac­count­abil­ity of per­pe­tra­tors, and is crit­i­cal if we are to match our re­sponse to the scale and the com­plex­ity of vi­o­lence against women,” said Ms O’Con­nor.

“It is no longer ac­cept­able for women to re­ceive such a weak State re­sponse to the scale of the is­sue and to the dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences of the most dis­ad­van­taged groups of women.”

Mary-Louise Lynch of In­ti­mate Abuse In­ter­ven­tion said this year had seen “an avalanche of women” shar­ing their sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences of abuse and control, with a wave of women speak­ing out both in­ter­na­tion­ally and in Ire­land.

“It is cru­cial that sur­vivor ex­pe­ri­ence in­flu­ences and shapes pol­icy and prac­tice with state agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for tack­ling in­ti­mate abuse and vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren,” said Ms Lynch.

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