Statement on Domestic Abuse Legislation

Women’s Aid ABCLN joins with Women’s Aid Groups across Northern Ireland in welcoming the introduction of the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill in Northern Ireland which received its first reading in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Tuesday 31st March.

Women’s Aid has been campaigning for legislation in relation to coercive and controlling behaviour for many years to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland. We would like to recognise the swift response from our Justice Minister Naomi Long MLA since the restoration of our local assembly in bringing in this legislation, after a three-year absence.

We have had an opportunity to discuss our views on the legislation, and what is needed to give the public confidence in our justice system in relation to domestic violence and abuse. We realise that this is the first stage and there is still work to be done but are confident that through our consultation with the Justice Committee and the Minister, Women’s Aid’s views will be listened to and taken forward.

Women’s Aid recognises the difficult situation the entire country is currently facing with Covid-19 and we are aware that our government departments must prioritise urgent need for the community in an ever-changing environment.

Women’s Aid ABCLN is still here, supporting women, children and young people living with domestic violence and abuse.