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Domestic abuse

Does your partner:

• Push/shove, hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or the children?

• Threaten to harm you, the children or your relatives?

• Threaten to or use a weapon against you?

• Threaten to kill you if you leave?

• Force you to have sex against your will?

• Anger easily when drinking or taking drugs?

• Humiliate you in front of others?

• Deliberately / maliciously destroy personal property or other items of sentimental value to you?

• Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?

• Constantly and obsessively ‘track’ your time and whereabouts?

• Constantly criticise you or put you down?

• Prevent you from working, leaving your home or socialising?

• Discourage your relationships with family and friends?

• Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?

• Deny you access to money even for household necessities?

Bystander action

If someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse:

• Express concern

• Assure them that the violence is not their fault

• Support, but don’t advise

• Give resources

• Only intervene if it is legal and safe for you to do so

www.whatwouldyoudo.ie

If you are aware of abuse between strangers, evaluate the best way of intervening:

• Distract

• Delegate

• Direct

• Gardaí will arrive and introduce themselves.

• They will ascertain what occurred and get details of those involved and relationships between them.

• Where there is a Domestic Order in place and that order has been breached, the Gardaí will arrest the perpetrator.

• Where there is no Domestic Order in place and the Gardaí have grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed and they have a power of arrest, then they will utilise that power of arrest.

• The Gardaí will fully investigate any offence that occurred which will entail seizing any item that may be considered as evidence for their investigation.  

• Gardaí will take a statement of complaint from the injured party either on the day or on a subsequent date.

• Gardaí will ensure that all victims are fully informed of the legal re-dress available to them and also provide details of accurate contact information.  The Gardaí will also fully inform the victims of the procedures involved in applying for various orders Under the Domestic Violence Act 1996 (as amended).

• The Gardaí will provide assistance in supplying details of the various support services, both statutory & voluntary in the area that may be of assistance of the victim.  

• The Gardaí will actively encourage the victim to make contact with them  as their safety and that of their children or other family members  is paramount.

• The Investigating Garda will maintain a continued liaison with the victim.

Domestic abuse is the physical, sexual, financial, emotional or mental abuse of one partner by the other partner in a relationship which may or may not be one of marriage or cohabitation and includes abuse by any family member against whom a safety order or a barring order may be obtained by another family member.

Domestic abuse is not confined solely to heterosexual relationships but also occurs within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships. It occurs online, via harassment on social networking and other websites.  Though women in heterosexual relationships account for the majority of reported victims of Domestic Abuse, men in heterosexual relationships, and men and women in same sex relationships, are also victims. In addition, children in homes where Domestic Abuse exists will suffer. Domestic abuse also presents itself in the shape of abuse of older people by abusive spouses/children/relatives/carers (elder abuse), and abuse of people with disabilities by their carers, partners or relatives.  Therefore, there is diversity among victims.

Domestic abuse crosses class, gender, race and religious belief. The Domestic Abuse Intervention Policy 2017 is available here

Disclaimer:

The above details are correct at time of publishing, and are provided as guidance only. Seek legal advice from your solicitor where necessary.

Does your partner:

• Push/shove, hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or the children?

• Threaten to harm you, the children or your relatives?

• Threaten to or use a weapon against you?

• Threaten to kill you if you leave?

• Force you to have sex against your will?

• Anger easily when drinking or taking drugs?

• Humiliate you in front of others?

• Deliberately / maliciously destroy personal property or other items of sentimental value to you?

• Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?

• Constantly and obsessively ‘track’ your time and whereabouts?

• Constantly criticise you or put you down?

• Prevent you from working, leaving your home or socialising?

• Discourage your relationships with family and friends?

• Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?

• Deny you access to money even for household necessities?

Bystander action

If someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse:

• Express concern

• Assure them that the violence is not their fault

• Support, but don’t advise

• Give resources

• Only intervene if it is legal and safe for you to do so

www.whatwouldyoudo.ie

If you are aware of abuse between strangers, evaluate the best way of intervening:

• Distract

• Delegate

• Direct

Call the Gardai on 999/112 or your local station and supply the following details:

    •  Full details of name & address & contact numbers

    •  Any Court Orders that are in place?

    •  Who is the domestic abuse being perpetrated against?

    •  Are there children present?

    •  Have alcohol or drugs been taken?

    •  Does the perpetrator have access to any weapons?

    •  Is there a history of abuse?

    •  What is the situation now?

Domestic Violence Orders may give additional protection to victims of domestic violence and can be applied for in the Family Law District Courts. They include:

  • Safety Order
  • Barring Order
  • Interim Barring Order
  • Protection Order

For further information see: http://www.courts.ie/Courts.ie/Library3.nsf/PageCurrent/0B054C9D139DC7C880257FB5003F5683?opendocument&l=en

A court may order an offender to pay compensation to a victim as part of a criminal case. A victim may take a civil case for compensation against an offender. It is up to the victim and their legal team to take this case. When making an award, the Tribunal has to deduct any money paid to the victim by the offender.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Secretary at the address or telephone number below:

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

Second Floor Montague Court

7-11 Montague Street

Dublin 2

D02 FT96

Phone: +353 1 476 8670

Fax: +353 1 476 8616

Email: criminalinjuries@justice.ie

Domestic Violence Act 2018

Safety and Protection Orders may be obtained by:

  • Spouses and civil partners.
  • Parents with a child in common.
  • Partners in an intimate relationship (including cohabitants and dating partners).
  • Parents of an abusive child, when the abuser is a non-dependent child (i.e. an adult).
  • People residing with the respondent in a non contractual relationship.

All of the above include former partners also (e.g. former spouse, cohabitant, etc.)

In practice anybody in an intimate relationship can now apply for a Safety or a Protection Order.

A Safety Order lasts up to 5 years.

A Protection Order ceases when the Court decides on an application for a Safety Order or a Barring Order.

A Safety Order does not exclude the offender from the home but offers the applicant (or a dependent) safety by prohibiting the respondent from:

  • the use of violence, or threats to use violence against the applicant/ dependent, or:
  • molesting or putting the applicant/ dependent in fear.

If the respondent is living elsewhere, the Order prevents the respondent from watching or besetting the home of the applicant/ dependent. The Court may place such exceptions or further conditions on the Order as it sees fit.

This Order may remain in place up to 5 years after its making and may be renewed.

Domestic Violence Act 2018

Barring Orders and Interim Barring Orders

The major change is that there is no minimum period of cohabitation required for cohabitant applicants.

Therefore, the following applicants are eligible for Barring Orders and Interim Barring Orders:

  • Spouses and civil partners
  • Cohabitants who live in an intimate relationship
             NO minimum period of cohabitation required.
             NO need for the relationship to be "committed".
  • Parents when the abuser is a non-dependent child (i.e. if the abusive son/daughter is an adult).
  • All of the above include former partners (e.g. former spouse, cohabitant etc.)

As before, an Interim Barring Order lasts up to 8 working days.

Interim Barring Order

Section 4, Domestic Violence Act 1996, as amended

When there has been an application for a Barring Order, the Court may make an Interim Barring Order, which temporarily has the same effect as a Barring Order.

An Interim Barring Order expires on the determination by the Court of the application for the Barring Order.

The Court may place such exceptions or further conditions on the Interim Barring Order as it sees fit.

An Interim Barring Order may be made ex parte (where the respondent is not in Court). However, an ex-parte order expires within a maximum of 8 working days unless, on application by the victim and on notice to the respondent, the ex-parte Order is confirmed within that period by order of a court. Further, a note of the evidence given, and the affidavit/ information sworn by the applicant must be served on the respondent along with the Court Order as soon as possible.

Protection Order

Section 5, Domestic Violence Act, 1996, as amended

When there has been an application for a Barring Order or a Safety Order, the Court may make a Protection Order, which temporarily offers the applicant (or a dependent) safety by prohibiting the respondent from:

  • the use of violence, or threats to use violence against the applicant/ dependent, or
  • molesting or putting the applicant/ dependent in fear.

If the respondent is living elsewhere, the order prevents the respondent from watching or besetting the home of the applicant/ dependent. The Court may place such exceptions or further conditions on the order as it sees fit.

A Protection Order expires on the determination by the court of the application for the Barring Order or the Safety Order.

A Protection Order may be made ex parte.