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Domestic Violence Bill Has Been Passed In The Dáil


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Psychological abuse in a relationship is a step closer to being a criminal offence.

A bill to expand our domestic abuse laws has been passed in the Dáil.

Improving access to the courts for victims and criminalising controlling behaviour are some of the main measures.

The legislation will go back to the Seanad before being signed into law by the President.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says psychological abuse can be just as harmful as physical violence.

He observed: "The new offence of coercive control sends a clear, consistent message that non-violent control in an intimate relationship is criminal.

"The effect of such behaviour may be as harmful to victims as physical abuse, because it's an abuse of the unique trust associated with an intimate relationship."

Fianna Fáil has welcomed the legislation - but the party's justice spokesperson says more action is needed beyond new laws.

Jim O'Callaghan argued: "We need in particular to be able to educate and inform young men of the unacceptability of using violence against women."


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