Domestic Violence FAQ

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  • 1. Domestic Violence
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  • 1. What effect does domestic abuse have on children and what supports are available?
     

    Children are also subjected to domestic violence which has harmful and negative effects on them. The effects of domestic violence on children can be wide-ranging and differ for each individual child. These effects can include, feelings of fear, shame and anger; low self-esteem and confidence; difficulties sleeping and nightmares; problems in school; temper and aggression, etc.

    Organisations, such as Safe Ireland can offer a wide range of supports for children, including helplines, counselling, emergency accommodation, and a safe space where children can find out more information about domestic violence.

     

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  • 2. Can the courts remove the abusing partner from the home?
     

    If a case of abuse is brought before the courts by the victim, the judge can grant a Barring Order which prohibits the abuser from using violent or threatening behaviour towards the victim and any dependent children where the judge is of the view that such an order is necessary for the circumstances. It requires the abusing partner to leave the house where the applicant resides. If the abusing partner does not live in the victim’s house, the Barring Order can require him/her to stay away from the victim and any children of the victim.

    In order to acquire a Barring Order, where the applicant is not a spouse, the applicant must have equal or more ownership rights in the house. Where such ownership can’t be proven, the applicant can seek a safety order which prevents the abuser from using or threatening to use violence against, molest or put in fear the applicant or any dependent person. Additionally, support organisations, such as Safe Ireland, offer 24-hour emergency refuge and accommodation to victims and their children.

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  • 3. Who can experience domestic violence?
     

    Although data shows that the majority of reported cases are committed by men against women, anyone can experience domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs across all classes in society regardless of gender, age, race, religion, wealth, sexuality or location.

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  • 4. What forms of abuse constitute an act of domestic violence?
     

    Domestic violence acts include physical violence, emotional violence including manipulation or verbal abuse with the aim of lowering self-esteem, psychological abuse and mind games, sexual abuse, financial abuse and social abuse.

    Controlling and coercive behaviour, along with stalking and harassment by electronic means or otherwise are also considered acts of domestic violence.

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  • 5. What services are available to me if I am a victim of domestic violence?
     

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, organisations such as Women’s Aid and Safe Ireland and AMEN offer a number of services. These services include:

    • Helplines
    • Information about the victim’s legal standing and other services that are available
    • Safe, emergency, 24-hour accommodation
    • Court accompaniment for victims who seek assistance with Protection and Barring Orders as well as an accompaniment to other state agencies such as the Gardaí or community welfare for support

    All these services are free, confidential and the majority are available to men and women.

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