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Psychological Abuse In A Relationship Is Now A Criminal Offence In Ireland

By Kiara Keane

January 2, 2019 at 11:42am


Coercive control in a relationship is now officially a criminal offence as part of a new domestic violence law that’s just been introduced.

The new offence is defined by the Department of Justice 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 day-to-day activities”.

It's hoped the Domestic Violence Act 2018 that was introduced by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan will give more protection to victims of domestic abuse.

Safety orders will also be made available, where victims can apply for emergency barring orders that last for eight working days.

Minister Flanagan said, "For too long, domestic violence has been seen primarily as physical abuse where there is an immediate risk of harm.

"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.

"Protecting and supporting victims has been a key priority for this Government, adding that domestic violence can have devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences for victims as well as society as a whole.”

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