Northern Ireland news

Justice Minister Naomi Long promises domestic violence victims their views will 'inform' future policy and legislation

The minister said she will `do all that I can to deliver for those affected by domestic abuse, whether male, female or LGBTQIA+'

JUSTICE Minister Naomi Long has promised domestic violence victims that their views will "inform" future policy and legislation after hearing their experiences.

Ms Long confirmed she will be introducing a new domestic abuse offence "next year" and will ensure it is accompanied by "associated training and awareness raising".

She said she is also "bringing forward Protection from Stalking legislation as well as a Justice Bill and work on the Gillen Review to tackle related sexual abuse issues".

Speaking after hearing directly from those "most affected" by domestic abuse and specialists working in the field from Belfast and Lisburn Women's Aid, she insisted it "has been a priority throughout my time as Justice Minster".

"I want to thank those that I heard from today, for taking the time to tell me about their experience, and to acknowledge the courage that they have shown including through seeking justice.

"I listened to their views on tackling domestic abuse, reflecting on their own personal experiences, which can further inform and make a difference to the important work we’re taking forward with a range of voluntary sector partners."

The minister said she will "do all that I can to deliver for those affected by domestic abuse, whether male, female or LGBTQIA+ given that domestic abuse affects all".

Information on Women's Aid organisations can be found https://www.womensaidni.org/ and those affected can also contact the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414.

Anyone able to call the police by too scared to speak can call 999 from a mobile, and press 55 when prompted to let the operator know it is a genuine emergency.

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