Minister Flanagan brings landmark Domestic Violence Act into operation
- Domestic Violence Act 2018 improves legal protections available to victims of domestic violence.
- Reforms bring Ireland a step closer to ratifying the Istanbul Convention.
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has announced the commencement of the Domestic Violence Act 2018. The Act improves the protections available to victims of domestic violence under both the civil and criminal law.
Minister Flanagan said:
Protecting and supporting victims has been a key priority for this Government. 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. It also completes a major step towards Ireland’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. I would like to acknowledge the work being done by organisations who support victims of domestic violence, and their contribution in strengthening the provisions of the Act.
One of the key new protections for victims under the criminal law introduced by the Act is the creation of a new offence of coercive control. This is 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 day-to-day activities.
Existing provisions on domestic violence are brought together in one piece of legislation to make the legislation easier to use.
The commencement of the Domestic Violence Act is a key part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021. As part of this strategy, the national awareness campaign “What would you do?” aims to bring about a change in long-established societal behaviours and attitudes to domestic and sexual violence and to activate bystanders with the aim of decreasing and preventing this violence.
The Domestic Violence Act 2018 is available at www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2018/act/6/enacted/en/html
Read the full press release here.