Domestic Violence Bill On the Path to Long Anticipated Enactment

Final stage of new Bill brings Ireland one step closer to being one of the safest countries in the world for women, says Safe Ireland­.

Safe Ireland, the national social change agency working to end domestic violence, commended Senators for passing the ground-breaking and radical Domestic Violence Bill 2017 through its final stages in the Seanad today.

The agency, which works with 40 domestic violence services around the country, said that it was extremely hopeful that the Bill could be now signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins by the end of this month. It said that the Bill could help make Ireland one of the safest countries for women and children.

“Effectively, from today, and thanks to the extraordinary collective co-operation of Senators and TDs from all parties, women can be confident that coercive control will be recognised as a criminal offence in this country,” said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of Safe Ireland.

“This is ground-breaking because it means that we will have, for the first time, a robust legislative foundation that recognises and responds to the pernicious pattern of control, dominance, inequality and psychological abuse which is really at the heart of violence within the home.”

Safe Ireland also said that it was extremely significant that the Bill recognises that violence between intimate partners is actually an aggravating offence. This, O’Halloran said, will help eradicate the culture of the past that has minimised violence within the home as “just a domestic or an issue that is a private one only.”

The agency also welcomed the increase in access to court and the introduction of statutory guidance for court orders allowed for within the Bill and said that these would ensure greater transparency and consistency for women so reliant on a functioning judicial system.

For more information contact:
Edel Hackett, Tel: 087-2935207