Victims of sexual assault are entitled to better treatment in the judicial system – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking today, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD said;

“I welcome the announcement from Minister Flanagan of a review of the handling of sexual assault cases.

“However, victims of sexual assault, North and South require support, protection and respect for their rights.

“This requires a fundamental review and overhaul of the legal systems.

“Consideration should be given to ensure that victims of sexual violence do not face a hostile adversarial process without appropriate legal advice, protection and representation.

“It is completely unacceptable that cases heard in courts in the North can be turned into an intrusive circus with extensive media reporting and general public access. This level of access and reporting jeopardises the anonymity of the complainant.

“The naming of defendants adds nothing to the justice process and should only enter the public domain in the event of conviction.

“Victims of sexual assault, North and South expect better and are entitled to better treatment from our judicial systems.”

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