If it happened after January 1st 2019, coercive control is a criminal offence in Ireland.
Section 39 of the new Domestic Violence Act 2018 sets out that:
(1) A person commits an offence where he or she knowingly and persistently engages in behaviour that
(a) is controlling or coercive
(b) has a serious effect on a relevant person,
(c) a reasonable person would consider likely to have a serious effect on a relevant person.
The legislation explains that behaviour has “a serious effect” if the “relevant person” – that is an intimate partner – fears that violence will be used against them or if it causes serious alarm or distress that has a “substantial adverse impact on usual day to day activities”.
This new law makes coercive control more serious precisely because it relates to tactics used by an intimate partner – a spouse, non-spouse or civil partner – now or in the past.
You do not have to be in a sexual relationship for a partner to be an intimate partner.
For more information on what coercive control is click here
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