Minister Stanton announces passage of Domestic Violence Bill 2017

Filed under: Local News |

Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, David Stanton has welcomed the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill 2017 through the Oireachtas. This landmark bill consolidates and reforms existing law in relation to domestic violence and creates a number of new legal protections for victims.

“I am delighted that the Domestic Violence Bill has now been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas. I would like to acknowledge the work of all those involved in the passage of this Bill including my colleagues Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD and the previous Minister, Frances Fitzgerald TD. I would like to give particular thanks to organisations who support victims of domestic violence whose help was invaluable”, said Minister Stanton.

He continued: “This Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the Oireachtas this year. In addition to consolidating and reforming existing legislation the Bill will also bring us closer to ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence”, said Minister Stanton.

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to implement in full the Istanbul Convention and the commitments contained in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence 2016-2021. Protecting and supporting victims of domestic violence has been a key priority for this Government and the Domestic Violence Bill is a key part of this process. It builds on existing improvements such as the removal of a financial contribution for civil legal aid in the District Court since 1st January 2018.

“For too long domestic violence has been seen primarily as physical abuse but it can, in fact, have devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences for victims, their families and society as a whole. I believe that this legislation will help to improve the protection of the law for victims of domestic violence, as it puts the needs of victims first and foremost. It creates a number of new offences such as coercive control and forced marriage and provides that the existence of an intimate relationship between the perpetrator and victim be an aggravating factor at sentencing. I look forward to its enactment.”