Seanad passes significant amendment to Domestic Violence Bill – Ó Donnghaile
Speaking after Committee Stage of the Domestic Violence Bill 2017 passed in the Seanad last night, Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile hailed the acceptance of a Government amendment which makes “coercive and controlling” forms of domestic abuse a recognised offence.
Speaking from Leinster House this morning, Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;
“The earlier stages of this debate saw a unity across the Chamber in calling for coercive and controlling forms of domestic violence to be recognised as a criminal offence. NGOs and stakeholder groups have been to the fore in lobbying for this addition and their dedication to this work must be commended.We supported this call from the outset. It is very welcome that at this stage of the legislation the government has heeded these calls and submitted this significant amendment recognising coercive and controlling behaviour as an offence.
“Controlling and coercive abuse takes countless forms and can involve not only physical violence but also physiological control, dominance as well as demeaning and dehumanising treatment. The passing of last night’s amendment to the Domestic Violence Bill categorising this behaviour as an offence is a transformative and decisive move which can hopefully have a direct impact is supporting those who are currently and could in the future, suffer as a result of this controlling and coercive behaviour.
“This Bill cannot just be about changing legislation, it must be about changing culture and giving the Gardaí and Judiciary the capacity to protect women and children and prosecuting those responsible for coercive and controlling behaviour against others.”