Safe Ireland: Domestic Violence Bill does not protect women and children

Women and children threatened by violence are not protected by the current Domestic Violence Bill, according to Safe Ireland.

The organisation, which supports those living with domestic violence, will this morning hear from international experts on coercive control.

Safe Ireland wants coercive control recognised as a specific offence.

Caitriona Gleeson with Safe Ireland has said it is much more than just physical and sexual abuse.

"When we meet women, their world's are becoming smaller and smaller because the abusive partner is restricting their access to rescources, to friends, to movements and timings," she said.

"A whole range of behaviours, which also include physical abuse and sexual abuse and sexual coercion but it's much greater than just physical violence and sexual violence which often people understand domestic violence just to be."

While an offence in the UK since 2015, there are concerns in the Irish Government that it is too hard to legislate for as a separate offence.

One in three Irish women has experienced some psychological violence from a partner.

The Bill was published back in February.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice at that time, Frances Fitzgerald said the Bill would "particularly improve the protections available to victims of domestic violence" and "most critically for cohabitants and parents in crisis situations, by introducing a new emergency barring order which can last for up to 8 working days."


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