Domestic violence 'not being tackled'

Solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland are seeing no let-up in cases of domestic violence in the province and now the government has been criticised for failing to protect females.

While solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland occasionally see cases of domestic violence committed against males, it is much more common to see females attacked by violent partners.

Now a report compiled by a group called the End Violence Against Women Coalition criticises the Northern Ireland Executive's failure to protect women across the province.

The Executive is given a score of one out of ten by the coalition for its "disappointing" lack of work to the issue of domestic violence in Belfast and Northern Ireland.

In the report it says that the work which has been done is on "a narrow range of violence issues, has limited coverage and is not part of a systematic or planned approach".

"This is disappointing given that all parts of government have a part to play in prevention, protection and support for women suffering from violence," the report adds.

Patricia Campbell of Amnesty, who contributed to the report, was quoted by the Belfast Telegraph as saying: "Violence against women affects us all, whether we have direct experience of it, know a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence, been sexually harassed at work or attacked or felt unsafe in the street."

Solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland may see a drop in domestic violence cases if the government heeds the recommendations in the report.

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