The Department of Health and Department of Justice have jointly published a 2018/2019 action plan under the Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy.
The action plan is the third to be issued under the Strategy and is based on partnership working with the Department of Education, Department for Communities and other statutory, voluntary and community sector colleagues.
The plan will identify new initiatives to ensure a continued focus on sexual violence and abuse. A key area of work for the Department of Justice is the implementation of a Domestic Homicide Review process to capture learning, share good practice and improve the response to domestic violence and abuse. Actions for other partners include the development of policy proposals for a ‘Sanctuary Scheme’ for victims of domestic abuse and considering how relationships and sexuality education curriculum resources can support teachers in addressing domestic and sexual violence and abuse. Another key action will be the commencement of a Crown Court Observers’ study to gather information on victims’ and witnesses’ experience of the court system in sexual offence cases.
The action plan will directly contribute to the delivery of the 2016 Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy’s vision, to have a society in Northern Ireland in which domestic and sexual violence is not tolerated in any form, effective tailored preventative and responsive services are provided, all victims are supported, and perpetrators are held to account.
Notes to editors:
- The Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy can be accessed on the DOJ website: https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/doj/stopping-domestic-sexual-violence-ni.pdf and the DoH website: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dhssps/stopping-domestic-sexual-violence-ni.pdf
- The year one, two and three action plans are available on the DOJ website: https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/stopping-domestic-and-sexual-violence-and-abuse-northern-ireland-seven-year-strategy-march-2016 and the DoH website:
- The Sanctuary Scheme is a proposed multi-agency victim centred scheme aimed at enabling victims to remain safe in their own homes where possible.
- Implementation of actions will be the responsibility of relevant government departments, their agencies and voluntary and community sector organisations.
- The action plan continues to progress a number of initiatives supported by previous Ministers.
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