MARTA stands in solidarity with the Irish colleagues
Centre MARTA has received an invitation to support our Irish colleagues in their request for their Parliament to pass the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill today, on the 14th of February. It recognises prostitution and wider sexual abuse as both a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men, and shifts the power balance in favour of the vulnerable while holding perpetrators to account. The Sexual Offences Bill sends a clear message that Ireland is standing up for the most vulnerable women, children and men in the society.Therefore, Centre MARTA stands in solidarity with our Irish colleagues and supports them by signing their plea.
Support for swift passage of the Sexual Offences Bill through Seanad Eireann
Dear Members of Seanad Éireann,
We, the undersigned, are writing to urge you, our public representatives, to pass the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 when it appears before you this coming week.
We represent many sectors of Irish society, including frontline service providers working with thousands of vulnerable children, women and men in Ireland every year, trade unions, activists and women who have been directly affected by sexual violence. We are imploring you to use your position in the Seanad to ensure the swift passage of the Bill. This legislation will help to protect our most vulnerable children and adults from sexual exploitation.
The Sexual Offences Bill will enable our work in providing support and assistance to those affected by sexual abuse, and will also enable our law enforcement to tackle the individuals and criminal gangs who are behind this exploitation.
It recognises prostitution and wider sexual abuse as both a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men, and shifts the power balance in favour of the vulnerable while holding perpetrators to account.
Every day that this law is delayed, women are raped in brothels across Ireland. Every day, we risk another boy or girl being groomed online by a sexual predator. Every night, young women walk in groups for fear of being the next statistic on rape in Ireland.
With this law, we support the Gardaí to target the perpetrators of these crimes. Our judiciary will have the power to prosecute rapists. The Gardaí are being given a clear message to ensure they engage with women in prostitution as vulnerable persons and potential victims of serious crime, whereas pimps, traffickers and buyers will be the focus for legal sanction.
The Sexual Offences Bill sends a clear message that Ireland is standing up for the most vulnerable women, children and men in our society. The amendments that will come before you serve to strengthen what is already an incredibly powerful piece of legislation tackling inequality and social injustice.
This Tuesday, 14th February is the One Billion Rising global day of action to end violence against women and girls. Please join campaigners across the globe, and use your voices to take a stand against injustice and inequality.
This Tuesday, 14th February, please vote to pass the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill into law.