1462. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice if the audit of the way in which services for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are segmented across State agencies due in March 2021 has been completed; if the report has been published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20045/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Programme for Government commits to conducting an audit of how responsibility for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (DSGBV) is segmented across different government agencies and this important commitment is reiterated in the Justice Plan 2021
The audit has been undertaken by external consultants Mary Higgins and Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop in consultation with relevant NGOs and service providers, as well as input from Departments and agencies. The consultants were, as part of their work, also required to take account of the views of those working at the frontline.
My Department has received a draft report from the auditors which is currently being finalised in the light of feedback provided by my Department; the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; and Tusla.
The audit outcome, together with the ongoing work of implementing Supporting A Victim's Journey, the current review of accommodation needs undertaken by Tusla, and the development of the next National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, will provide us with valuable guidance for designing our systems to best meet the needs of victims of DSGBV and improve how we do this in the longer-term.
Tackling domestic abuse and ensuring we have the best possible infrastructure to support victims is a priority for me as Minister and for Government. I am working with my colleagues and with our partners to ensure we have an appropriate collective national response that supports victims and holds perpetrators to account.