The Workers’ Party have called for the domestic abuse legislation currently proposed in Stormont to be fast-tracked. 

Kieran McCausland, Workers’ Party representative in Upper Bann, made the call saying: 

“North of the border, there has been a 10% increase of reported domestic violence in April compared with previous months. In the first 3 weeks of April, 2,000 calls of domestic abuse were made to police. Tragically, three people have died as a result of domestic abuse since the lockdown commenced. 

“It is clear that we can not wait until next year for the domestic violence legislation proposed by Justice Minister Naomi Long to come into force.” 

“The reasons for the increase in domestic violence reported include greater time spent in the home by abusers and increased alcohol consumption in the home. Meanwhile, we can assume that the increase does not reflect the true numbers of cases of domestic abuse, with many no doubt going unreported.” 

“Stormont must allocate additional funding to groups such as Women’s Aid to tackle the impact of domestic abuse in the short-term. 

“But critically, we need to see the proposed domestic abuse legislation fast-tracked, in order to provide legal recourse for victims in the here and now – and make it clear to abusers that there are consequences for their actions.”