A new Domestic Violence Act 2018 is here – get up to date with new laws.

The Domestic Violence Act 2018 is the law on domestic violence in the Republic of Ireland. The Act brings many positive changes to make sure that victims of domestic violence are protected.

Some changes include:

No Forced Marriages (S.38)

Forced marriage is now illegal. Forced marriages are marriages where one and/or both people have not expressed their full consent to the marriage.

A child marriage is a form of forced marriage as one and/or both people have not expressed their full consent. Also, removing a person from Ireland for the purpose of them being forcibly married is still illegal.

No Marriage under 18 Years

The current laws that allow people under 18 to marry no longer exist.

No Emotional Abuse (S.39)

Psychological abuse (Emotional Abuse) / controlling and scary behaviour is now illegal.

This means that any behaviour in an intimate relationship that causes fear of violence or upset that effects a person’s daily life is now illegal.

If found guilty of emotional abuse, penalties can range from a class A fine or imprisonment for no longer than 12 months, or both, to 5 years imprisonment.

‘Partners’ Can Apply for Safety and Protection Orders

Safety Order, Barring Order, Protection Order, Interim Barring Order and Emergency Barring Order (S.7-10)

All partners in an intimate relationship are able to apply for Safety and Protection orders – even if partners are not living together.

Those who can apply for Safety and Protection orders includes:

  • Spouses and civil partners

  • Parents with a child in common

  • Partners in an intimate relationship (including partners who live together and partners who are dating)

  • Parents of an abusive child, when the abuser is a child who is not dependent on the parent

  • People residing with the perpetrator in a non-contractual relationship – for example, two relatives living together

No Minimum Time for Barring Orders and Interim Barring Orders

There is no minimum amount of time of living together required for partners to apply for an order. This means whether you have been living together with your partner for a day, a month or even years, you can apply for a Barring Order or Interim Barring Order.

Those who can apply for Barring Orders and Interim Barring Orders includes:

  • Spouses and civil partners

  • Parents with a child in common

  • Partners in an intimate relationship (including partners who live together and partners who are dating)

  • Parents of an abusive child, when the abuser is a child who is not dependent on the parent

  • People residing with the perpetrator in a non-contractual relationship – for example, two relatives living together

New Emergency Barring Order

This is a new order that gives protection for a limited amount of time where there is an immediate risk of harm to partners who do not satisfy the property test. This means that the person applying for the order who does not own or co-own the home or does not have their name on the lease can apply for the Emergency Barring Order.

For the full Act: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2018/act/6/enacted/en/html

For more information on orders: https://www.paveepoint.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Barring-and-Safety-Orders-leaflet-and-comic-A5-2.pdf

More information on Pavee Point’s Violence Against Women Programme.