The Manager of a local women’s aid centre believes changes to domestic violence and stalking legislation will encourage more women to report their perpetrators.
Carmel McNamee of the DVAS centre in Leitrim, Sligo and West Cavan is welcoming news that victims will soon be able to seek restraining orders against stalkers,without having to secure a criminal prosecution.
She also feels Minsiter McEntee’s zero tolerance approach to domestic violence can be seen by making non-fatal strangulation a standalone offence.
The Bill is set to become law in the autumn and includes new maximum sentences of up to 10 years for stalking and assault causing harm, while conspiracy to murder could see a life sentence imposed.
The local advocacy group manager is urging women to reach out for support.
''Please know that you will be believed. Help and support is available. There is help and support through your local dedicated domestic violence service, which in this area is DVAS in Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan and Longford Women's Link. Please reach out for support, ring in complete confidence or talk to a guard or if both feels too much please reach out and talk to somebody close to you.''
DVAS can be contacted on 071 9141515 or the Women’s Aid National Freephone 24 Hour Helpline on 1800 341 900