I want to reiterate my commitment to address all forms of domestic abuse for those that are affected, regardless of gender, gender identity, race, religion, age and background, Justice Minster Naomi Long said today.
She was speaking at an event to address domestic abuse, organised by Men’s Action Network entitled: “Why are you doing this to me?”
Naomi Long said: “As Justice Minister a key priority for me has been tackling public safety, protecting people from violent and abusive behaviours, and securing justice for those affected. The new domestic abuse offence will ensure better protections and safeguards are in place and more effectively bring to justice those that carry out these crimes.
“The new domestic abuse offence marks a milestone, and a real step change, for all those that are affected and who may be suffering in silence. The offence closes a gap in the law and ensures that protection is not limited to physically violent behaviour. It also ensures that as wide a range of behaviours as possible can be captured and covers behaviour that is controlling or coercive or that amounts to psychological, emotional or financial abuse of another person.
“Through the new offence I want to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse feel confident enough, and have enough belief in the criminal justice system, to report these heinous crimes. Nobody should feel that they are the hidden or forgotten victims of domestic abuse.”
Notes to editors:
1. There are local support groups throughout Northern Ireland, delivering a range of specialised support services to men, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.
2. Further information on local support organisations can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/still-abuse or at www.daart-ni.co.uk
3. Those affected by domestic abuse, whether male, female or LGBTQIA+ can also contact the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414.
4. If someone needs to ring the police, but are too scared to speak, the ‘silent solution’ means they can call 999 from a mobile, and press 55 when prompted. This lets police know it is a genuine emergency.
5. For media enquiries contact the Department of Justice Press Office at email@example.com.
6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
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