Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called for the introduction of ‘compassionate legislation’ to tackle the scourge of domestic violence here.
Speaking during an Assembly debate on measures to combat violent crime, the Foyle MLA said a new approach to domestic violence was crucial in places like Derry.
Martina Anderson commented: “In Derry, nearly half of all violent crimes are domestic abuse crimes.
“Derry has the third highest level of domestic violence incidents in the north. According to the PSNI, there were 1519 domestic abuse crimes recorded last year alone. That is four crimes per day.”
Paying tribute to organisations such as Women’s Aid, La Dolce Vita and the Men’s Action Network, Martina Anderson said they need to be backed by legislation that meets the needs of victims.
She added: “Last year domestic abuse incidents increased by almost 6% and represented 16% of all crime recorded in the north.
“It is welcome that more women are seeking help for domestic abuse – yet there are still countless victims suffering in silence – who are trapped behind closed doors.
“We need compassionate domestic violence legislation that fully supports victims, and is sensitive to their circumstances.” Críoch/Ends