Alliance Lagan Valley Westminster candidate Sorcha Eastwood has pledged her support for a campaign highlighting domestic abuse here.
Women’s Aid in Northern Ireland’s Call for Action seeks to raise awareness of domestic violence and improve the experiences of those engaging with the criminal justice system on the issue. Councillor Eastwood said if elected as MP, she will push for legislation on domestic abuse to be prioritised.
“For too long, Northern Ireland has lagged behind in legislation to make the lives of those suffering domestic abuse safer. PSNI statistics show over 31,000 reported incidents of domestic abuse this year, which is an increase of almost six per cent from the previous 12 months and the highest since 2004/05,” she said.
“Northern Ireland has the highest rate of femicide in Western Europe per 100,000 in the population. That should shock all of us into urgent action, to try and make lives safer. Unfortunately, the Domestic Abuse Bill going through Parliament has been delayed because of the General Election. If elected to Westminster, I will push for the Bill to be prioritised and made law as soon as possible.
“Domestic violence impacts everyone – men, women and children. Having experienced it myself, I stand fully behind those groups calling for action on this issue. We need to do all we can to support those who go through this trauma and protect them from its impact.”