‘Domestic abuse victims deserve better’ – Sinead Bradley

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Thursday, December 10th, 2020

SDLP Justice Spokesperson Sinead Bradley MLA has said that she is shocked after the Justice Minister Naomi Long “refused to move a critical piece of legislation that would give further protection to victims of domestic abuse”.


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The South Down MLA is seeking an urgent meeting with the Justice Minister to address the situation.



Sinead Bradley MLA said, “I am appalled by what has happened.

“The amendments tabled to the domestic abuse bill are designed to increase access to legal aid for victims of domestic abuse who are being dragged through the courts by their abusers.

“It is unbelievable that the Justice Minister is so opposed to that principle that she would delay the passage of this vital legislation.


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“I also find it extremely distasteful to compare this situation to RHI,” she insisted.

“Victims of domestic abuse need access to legal aid to protect themselves from financial ruin at the hands of abusive partners.

“How could anyone compare that to those who burned wood pellets for personal financial gain?

“We identified a loophole in the law that would have allowed abusers to continue to exercise control over their victims and sought to close it.



“That was undertaken in consultation with family law experts and representatives of abuse victims.

“This is the worst possible outcome for those who need the additional support that this bill would have delivered.

“I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister about this situation.

“And I will continue to work with those who have first-hand experience of this intolerable abuse.

“We must all be in solution mode.

“An ugly political fight serves no one’s interests.



“The SDLP is committed to passing legislation that will meet the needs of victims and survivors of abuse.

The local MLA added, “We will work with all parties to see that happen.”


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