Brian Hayes MEP today (Monday) said that the CSO have an important role to play in improving the collection of data on domestic violence in Ireland.
“We need robust data on all forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual violence. If we are to devote proper resources to tackling gender-based violence, we need proper statistics on the extent of the situation in Ireland. In May of this year, the CSO concluded that it could not stand over Garda statistics on domestic violence following detailed analysis.
“The only way we will have robust data on domestic violence is through CSO reporting of the statistics along with crucial Garda information.
“During a recent vote in the European Parliament on the EU statistical programme up to 2020, the issue of statistics on domestic violence came up. It was disappointing that there were objections raised by the CSO to the inclusion of a mandatory survey on gender-based violence.
“It is concerning that; on the one hand, the CSO is critical of Garda statistics on domestic violence yet, at the same time, it raises objections to EU initiatives aimed at improving the collection of domestic violence statistics.
“The CSO has said in a recent letter from its Director General that it is considering the introduction of a Crime and Victimisation survey in the 4th quarter of 2018 on gender-based violence. While consideration of a survey is all well and good, we need a firm commitment that this data collection will begin, sooner rather than later. Skirting around the issue for another year will get us nowhere.
“Many other EU countries have strong systems of data collection on domestic violence, such as Spain, where various studies and reports have been published by the Spanish statistical office specifically on the problem of violence against women. A proactive approach needs to be taken by the CSO; they have to look at best practice in the EU and make a determined effort to improve our statistical discrepancies.”