THE Government has commenced the Domestic Violence Act 2018 which will improve legal protections available to victims of domestic violence.
The legislation also includes new crimes of coercive control and forced marriage. The laws can protect everybody who is in an intimate relationship.
The offence of coercive control is described as psychological abuse in an intimate relationship that causes fear of violence, or serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse impact on a person’s daily activities. Those convicted on indictment face up to five years in jail.
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD said: “Domestic violence can have devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences for victims as well as society as a whole. The commencement of the Domestic Violence Act is a key part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.”
He added: “For too long, domestic violence has been seen primarily as physical abuse. The new offence of coercive control recognises that the effect of non-violent control in an intimate relationship can be as harmful to victims as physical abuse because it is an abuse of the unique trust associated with an intimate relationship.”
The legislation is positive from a public health perspective, as domestic violence creates substantial risks to the mental and physical health of the victims, including wider family and children. These new laws have the capacity to help victims seek support and achieve the legal protections they need to move forward with their lives.
To seek support for domestic violence visit:
Visit whatwouldyoudo.ie if you have witnessed or suspect a situation of domestic violence