1. Ahern opens major conference on Domestic Violence

Ahern opens major conference on domestic violence

Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today opened Cosc’s first major conference on domestic violence in Waterford Institute of Technology.

This is the first conference of its kind in Ireland, bringing together a range of international speakers from the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. The aim of the conference is to inform key Irish policy makers and service providers about the various models of interventions which are in place in other countries. The agenda covers issues across the justice, health and housing sectors, issues of integration and specific responses implemented in other jurisdictions. Over 150 delegates are attending the conference, from both the public sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the field.

Addressing the conference Minister Ahern noted that the conference is not only about informing the work of the delegates, but the exchange of information and debate that will take place at Waterford will also feed directly into the preparation of the first National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

Minister Ahern highlighted the new and vital role to be played by Cosc in co-ordinating a whole-of-government response to the many and complex issues related to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. He pointed out that new approaches will be needed and that real change can be achieved through co-operation at both local and government level. "All of us play a role in ensuring that victims of domestic violence feel safe in seeking assistance and that we must be clear and unambiguous at all times in our message to perpetrators: domestic violence is a crime." the Minister said. 


29 May 2008


Note for Editors:

Cosc is the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence and was set up in June 2007. This is the first time there has been a dedicated Government office with the key responsibility to ensure the delivery of a well co-ordinated "whole of Government" response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. The work of Cosc covers issues relating to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence against both women and men, including older people.

Cosc will begin consultations on the National Strategy in the autumn and has already issued a call for submissions from the public. Further information on this and Cosc’s work in general can be found on our website (www.cosc.ie).

Conference Speakers:

Mr. Charles J. Hynes
District Attorney, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Ms. Wanda Lucibello
Chief Prosecutor, Special Victims Division, Office of the District Attorney, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Prof. Marianne Hester
School for Policy Studies, Bristol University, UK
Ms. Jan Pickles O.B.E.
Director, Cardiff Women’s Safety Unit, UK
Prof. Elizabeth Stanko
Senior Advisor to the London Metropolitan Police, UK 
Prof. Desmond O’Neill
Chairman, Elder Abuse National Implementation Group, Ireland
Dr. Carmen Gill
Director, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, University of New Brunswick, Canada
Mr. Mark Coulter
Male Victims Development Officer, Men’s Advice Line (MALE), UK
Prof. Ann Taket
Head, School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Australia
Dr. Gina Netto
Lecturer, Heriot- Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Ms. Thangam Debbonaire
Respect Evaluation Project Manager; Director of Domestic Violence Responses: Training, Prevention, Research (independent practitioner and evaluator)
Ms. Linda Regan
Senior Research Officer, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University, UK