Helpful Information On Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence (DV), often referred to as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), is a human rights abuse and a form of gender-based violence with its roots in gender inequality.

The Istanbul Convention defines domestic violence as “all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family of domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim. The exertion of coercive control is a key component in this process.

What is Coercive Control?

Coercive control is a part of a persistent pattern of psychological and emotional abuse in intimate relationships. It causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse impact on a person’s day-to-day life. Coercive control can have a serious impact on the person including fear of violence that can result in the person giving up work, changing their routines, and losing contact with their family and friends. Coercive control is likely to have a negative effect on the person’s physical and emotional wellbeing and can in extreme cases lead to loss of life i.e., homicide/suicide.

Coercive control is not just the need to control someone’s life, or bank account, or having strict house rules. Coercive control in a relationship is defined, not by any of the factors that are being controlled, money, house rules etc., it’s really the need for total emotional control as soon as coercive control is involved in a relationship the goal shifts from practical control to personal control, from functional to emotional. The need for total emotional control is the real driving factor.

Coercive Control Red Flags

  • Are you isolated from family and friends? Have you been told your friends or family are no good?
  • Have you been told to choose between your family and friends or your partner and children?
  • Are you deprived of basic needs? Like Money, food, heating
  • Is your every move being monitored?
  • Do you have no control of your own life?
  • Are you being told where you can go or who you can be friends with?
  • Are you being told what to wear? How to have your hair?
  • Are you repeatedly put down?
  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Are you constantly walking on eggshells?
  • Do you have to account for your daily activities

Relationship Red Flags

  • Quick involvement in a relationship
  • Excessive jealousy and possessiveness
  • Issues of domestic abuse with previous partners
  •  Rigid expectations and controlling behaviours
  • Isolation from family, friends, and support
  • Verbal abuse and criticism
  • Restraining or controlling movement in any way
  • Family history of domestic abuse (cycle of abuse – normalisation of abuse)
Understanding Abuse

For some people, the abuse may have started 40 years ago, 4 years ago or 4 months ago. What is important is that you reach out for information, help and support now.
The abuse and/or violence you experienced in the past or continue to experience now is unique to you and we will listen to your story and offer information specific to you.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Sadly it does not discriminate between age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality or what you do for a living.
We want you to know that you are not alone, we supported thousands of men last year and continue to help approx. 30 contacts per day.
Please know that what happened to you is not your fault and our team of experienced experts are here to support you.

Familial Abuse
Lock down sadly brought to the forefront the issue of familial abuse. The definition of familial abuse is:
Abuse (particularly in the family) is when an adult, typically a parent or caregiver, uses violence to control and/or harm a family member.
The abuse can be physical, emotional/psychological or sexual. Neglect is another form of abuse.
Our experienced team can help with information on familial abuse.

What is Gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence has been defined by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as: ‘Violence that is directed against a women because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately’.

CEDAW recognise it as ‘a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men’.

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual Violence (SV) is defined as any sexual act performed on the victim without consent. It consists of an array of sexual coercion assaults, penetrative and non-penetrative – sexual violence can take the form of rape or sexual assault which involves sexual penetration, whether vaginal, anal or oral, through the use of object or body parts, using force, coercion or by taking advantage of the vulnerability of the victim.

How to recognise Domestic Violence as a Crime.

Domestic Violence is a high volume and a high impact crime.

In 2021 The Garda Siochana responded to 48,400 Domestic violence incidents an increase of 10% on 2020.There were 4,250 criminal charges for breaches of Domestic Violence Act orders in 2021 an increase of 6% on 2020. In the corresponding years Men’s Aid responded to 8,000 contacts to our service for support, an increase of 40%+ on 2020.

Operating parallel to this emerging situation in terms of the escalation of DSGBV and associated crimes is the needs of the Victim. The Government established a “Support to Report” initiative along with The National Victims Charter to assist the victim as they endeavour to journey through a crime which has impacted them. The Protective needs for the victim and commitment to meet minimum standards for victims are enshrined in law, in particular the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2015 along with the Victims directive EU 2012/29 (link) have reference.

Domestic Violence can encompass a wide range of crimes including – Physical assaults/Controlling or Coercive behaviours / Forced marriage/Sexual Assaults /Rape /Cruelty to Children/ Cruelty to Animals / Economic Crimes / Technological crimes / Emotional and Psychological abuse / Verbal abuse /Spiritual abuse and Honor Based abuse. Some of these crimes may be experienced simultaneously (and may occur as a crime that is the breach of the specified court order, and as such requires a criminal investigation for a number of separate yet connected crimes).

At the core of each of these crimes is a desire on the part of the abuser to exercise power and control over the victim.

Almost all of these crimes are of a high grade in nature and may on conviction in the courts carry significant prison sentences (over 5yrs)/ they are all arrest-able and of note The Garda Siochana as most Police Services throughout the world (following the Duluth experience) have a pro arrest policy in place.

Crimes associated with Domestic Violence in 2022.
Of note, many if not all of these crimes are rarely referred to as such by the victim. Indeed, the victim may not wish to be referred to as victim sometimes preferring the term “survivor” or “service user” or “advocate” or simply “I am not a victim”. While respect in this regard is important, the rights accorded to a Natural Person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental, or emotional or economic loss which was directly caused by an offence should always be actioned.

As and from the 1st of January 2019 one particular crime has become known and accepted as being associated with Domestic Violence. This crime is coercive control (section 39 in the Domestic Violence Act 2018). While there is no crime of Domestic Violence perse the crimes of coercive control and its key ingredients have become established in the mind of the victim. These may include knowing and persistently engaging in behaviour that is:

• Controlling and coercive
• Has a serious effect
• A reasonable person would consider it as having a serious effect
• Causes fear that violence might be used
• Causes serious alarm or destress
Other crimes associated with Domestic Violence include:

Breaches of the specified orders (Protection/O IB/O B/O S/O E/O)

The following are a number of factors or circumstances which the court may consider when granting an application for a specified order:
• History/conviction of violence or treat of violence
• Conviction for theft or fraud
• Previous specified orders
• Animal cruelty
• Substance abuse/alcohol abuse
• Access to weapons (including firearms)
These may fall under a broad spectrum of crimes which may be the subject of a criminal investigation by The Garda Siochana and maybe crimes Men’s Aid may find themselves supporting to report.

These include physical violence, sexual violence, economic abuse, Psychological/emotional abuse and they will present in terms of seriousness/dangerousness along a spectrum as follows:

• Common law breach of the peace – Common Law
• Breach of the peace- Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994
• Drunkenness – Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994
• Blackmail – Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994
• Endangerment – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Threats to kill or harm – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Assault – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Assault causing harm – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Assault causing serious harm – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Sexual assault – Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990
• Aggravated sexual assault – Criminal law – (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990
• Rape – Criminal law – (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990
• Rape section 4- Criminal Law – (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990
• Theft – (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 as amended by the 2021 Act
• Fraud – (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 as amended by the 2021 Act
• Criminal damage – Criminal Damage Act 1991
• Cruelty to children – Children Act 2001
• Cruelty to animals – Animal Health and Welfare Act
• Possession of a knife – The Firearms and offensive Weapons Act 1990
• Possession of a firearm – Criminal Justice Act 2006
• Possession of another weapon – The Firearms and offensive Weapons Act 1990
• Harassment – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Coercion – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Harassment online – Harassment, Harmful Communications, and related offences Act 2020
• Forced marriage – Domestic Violence Act 2018
• FGM – Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012
• Abduction of child – Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997
• Attempted murder – Common law
• Conspiracy to murder – Common Law
• Murder – Common Law

This information is for general guidance only and should not be interpreted as a legal document or legal interpretation.

What are Men’s Experiences of Controlling Behaviour

Men’s Experiences of Controlling Behaviour

Men who contact Men’s Aid tell us of their experiences of controlling behaviour, these include:

  1. Isolation
  2. Gaslighting (pattern of control to make the victim feel unstable)
  3. Monitoring personal activities including (places you go, people you meet, time you spend outside the home)
  4. Monitoring by devices including GPS, phone, laptop, car mapping systems, texts, emails
  5. Humiliation (demeaning commentary)
  6. Threats (reveal intimate images or personal information/cause harm to controller, victim, or family)

Coercive Control Red Flags

Following on from what service users are disclosing to Men’s Aid, both in person and on our helpline, the following points could be considered as a red flag for Coercive Control 

  • Are you isolated from family and friends? Have you been told your friends or family are no good?
  • Have you been told to choose between your family and friends or your partner and children?
  • Are you deprived of basic needs? Like Money, food, heating
  • Is your every move being monitored?
  • Do you have no control of your own life?
  • Are you being told where you can go or who you can be friends with?
  • Are you being told what to wear? How to have your hair?
  • Are you repeatedly put down?
  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Are you constantly walking on eggshells?
  • Do you have to account for your daily activities

Relationship Red Flags

Red Flag Factors in relationship:

  • Quick involvement in a relationship
  • Excessive jealousy and possessiveness
  • Issues of domestic abuse with previous partners
  • Rigid expectations and controlling behaviours
  • Isolation from family, friends, and support
  • Verbal abuse and criticism
  • Restraining or controlling movement in any way
  • Family history of domestic abuse (cycle of abuse – normalisation of abuse)
Reasons why men seek help
When men contact Men’s Aid for the first time, they are usually living with Domestic Violence/Coercive Control for many years but can no longer cope with the abuse alone.

Often men tell us they hoped their partner would change or she/ he would stop the abuse and they would go back to the way they were when they first met.

Men tell us that their partner was the kindest most loving partner at the beginning of the relationship, and they hold onto these memories hoping that she/he will go back to being that person.

The stigma and society’s perception of IPV often stop’s men seeking help. Men have told us they believe they should repel violence and may feel emasculated when their abuser is a woman.

Men say they feel they won’t be believed because of their gender and physicality, or they will be ridiculed for not being able to protect themselves from the abuse.

Men tell us:

  • They are having suicidal ideation because of years of abuse and ring the helpline to talk
  • They have decided they can no longer remain in the abusive relationship and are seeking information on their legal rights to their children and their home
  • They are seeking information on how to help their abusive partner as they feel it’s not her/ his fault they have had a difficult childhood or experience that makes them lash out
  • They are seeking counselling as they need and want to talk about the turmoil they are enduring
  • Their partner has now commenced making false allegations of abuse against them (as part of the family law court process/Tusla)
  • They want to start an abuse free lif
  • They didn’t recognise Domestic Violence /Coercive control in their relationship at the beginning or in some cases they had normalised this behaviour.

Domestic Violence/Coercive control Behaviours

Domestic Violence/Coercive control is not just a one-time incident, but a pattern of behaviours over time. It is a crime in Ireland now too:

It can include:


  • Hitting
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Biting
  • Kicking
  • Pulling hair
  • Being hit with weapons – having items thrown at you
  • Choking-burning-poisoning


  • Forced sexual activity
  • Rape
  • Being forced to preform sexual acts you are uncomfortable with
  • Using sex and intimacy as a weapon-accusing you of having sex with someone else and checking your clothes
  • Criticising you sexually
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Forced To Penetrate  (FTP)


  • Having no access to money
  • Preventing you from working and earning your own money
  • Fraudulently getting loans in your name
  • Making you borrow money from friends and family to give to them

Verbal / emotional:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Exclusion from family activities
  • Constantly shouted and screamed at
  • Demeaned in front of children/others
  • Told you are useless, a bad parent, you don’t earn enough money
  • You’re not a real man
  • Being accused of cheating
  • Extreme Jealousy, Not allowed to talk to or engage with other women/men
  • Using children to manipulate the relationship
  • Prolonged silent treatment (stone walling / making you feel invisible)


  • Steals or insists to be given your social media/email/phone passwords
  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on social media and other sites
  • Sends you negative, insulting or threatening emails, or other in-appropriate messages online
  • Uses social media sites to keep constant tabs on you
  • Puts you down in their social media posts
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts, and outgoing calls

Second Wave abuse

Second Wave abuse happens when you have escaped the relationship, but the abuse continues in other forms:

  • Being threatened with violence when you collect your children for access
  • False allegations being made against you to Tusla, The Garda Síochána or Courts
  • Your children being alienated from you, told you don’t love them, they shouldn’t go with you
  • Your ex-partners family are threatening to harm you
  • Constant court applications being made to harm you financially or to stop you seeing your children
  • Your workplace is being contacted and unfounded allegations being made against you to your boss or colleagues

Men in abusive relationships often report having the threat of court and false allegations used to control them:

Some examples disclosed to Men’s Aid

  • “I will go to court and have you removed from the house”
  • “I will make sure you never see the kids again”
  • “I will have you deported”
  • “I will out you to your family/workplace”
  • “I will take you for everything you have, and you will be sleeping on the streets”
  • “I will tell everyone you are abusive to me”
  • “I will make your life hell”


Gaslighting is a pattern of control to make the victim feel unstable. Gaslighting has also been described as being similar to a situation like a “hostage” effort,  made to convince you that you are crazy and that your own words and actions may be used against you. Lies will be told to you, family and friends will be turned against you.

Any apology is likely to be a non-apology for instance “I’m sorry you took me up wrong, or I’m sorry I did that BUT”. The perpetrator (Gaslighter) is ready to trick their victim into distrusting their own experience of an event. They are master manipulators. They use it to gain power/control over their victim.

On the flip side of this, some (Gaslighters) know that people now feel safer talking about these issues, so they accuse their victim of gaslighting them. They make false allegations and control them through fear.

Gaslighting is practiced equally by both men and women.

Some of the phrases service users tell us when being gaslighted include:

  • “Why are you upset? I was only kidding.”
  • “If you were listening…”
  • “I guess I’ll have to repeat myself since you can’t remember.”
  • “You’re being irrational.”
  • “Don’t you think you’re over-reacting?”
  • “Stop being so sensitive.”
  • “You’re too emotional.”
  • “You can’t take a joke.”
  • “I know what you’re thinking.”
Warning Signs for Family / Friends

Warning signs if you suspect your family member / friend is in an abusive relationship.

  • Do they seem fearful or anxious since they met their partner?
  • Have stopped going out with friends or attending family occasions
  • Are they always with their partner
  • Do they receive numerous phone calls from their partner when they are with you?
  • Is there a change in their behaviour or demeanour (quiet and withdrawn, poor eye contact)?
  • Are they missing work?
  • Are there changes in their physical appearance and clothing?
  • Are there changes in their work behaviour?
  • Are they drinking more alcohol / or using other substances?
  • Do they make excuses for their own or their partners behaviour?
  • Are they tried all the time?
  • Do they have unexplained injuries?
  • Are they exercising / walking running excessively?
  • Are they arriving early to work and staying late?

Finding out that someone you care about is being abused is difficult and knowing how to approach them may seem even more daunting.

While you have good intentions, telling them what they’re experiencing and what they should do about it can further isolate them,
they may not be ready to confront their abuse.

Remember their abuser has been working very hard to isolate them and destroy their self-esteem and their confidence. They may believe that they are the reason they are being abused. They may not even recognise the abuse.

What to do / What not to do:

  • DO Listen, make eye contact, given them 100% of your attention, and believe them
  • Acknowledge their pain “I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through”
  • DO Offer them a safe space to talk, but do not push “Is there anything I can do to support you?”
  • Do not assume the abuse is not that serious
  • DO NOT tell them what to do or to leave their abuser
  • DO pass on details of a domestic abuse support service
  • DO take care of your own emotions
How can I help my work colleague

Effects of Domestic Violence/Coercive Control in the workplace

In 2021 Vodafone Ireland became one of the first companies committed to supporting employees and standing up to domestic violence. They have conducted research through the Vodafone Foundation and introduced a domestic violence policy into the workplace which offers to support all employees who are living with domestic abuse.

Research from Vodafone Foundation found that of the 4,715 working men and women across multiple industries who were surveyed – 37% of respondents had experienced abuse in some form.

  • 61% of those affected had also experienced psychological control and emotional abuse
  • The effect on their professional lives was also profound: two-thirds said the abuse affected their career while 13% had quit their job as a result
  • Despite these negative consequences, at time of writing only 5% of businesses internationally have a specific policy to support employees affected by domestic abuse

Inspired by this research and building on more than a decade’s work by Vodafone Foundation to develop mobile services to support victims of domestic violence and coercive control. Vodafone has decided to take an active role in supporting victims.

  • Employees experiencing domestic abuse have access to support and specialist counselling, as well as up to 10 days additional paid ‘safe leave’
  • Time off is available for seeking professional help and counselling, attending police or court appointments, making arrangements to move house, and supporting their children, without the perpetrator necessarily being aware of the steps being taken.
  • In addition, specialist training will be provided for HR managers so they can fully support those experiencing abuse.
  • Alongside this ‘safe leave’ policy, a toolkit for employers has been developed by the Vodafone Foundation in collaboration with domestic violence and abuse expert Dr. Jane Pillinger. “When the workplace can become a safe and supportive environment for victims and survivors of domestic abuse that is a major step forward.”

Warning signs that an employee might be experiencing domestic abuse:

  • They are always late for work
  • They must answer calls during working hours.
  • They unexplained physical injuries
  • They are taking a lot of time off
  • They are no longer looking after their appearance
  • They are withdrawn
  • They lack concentration
  • They are nervous
  • You’ve noticed a decrease in work productivity

These behaviours could reflect a range of issues and at the same time, potentially lead to disciplinary procedures. It is therefore important to establish what is behind them.

Understand that it can be difficult for an employee to make a disclosure of domestic abuse, and that your support is vital to their wellbeing.

  • DO be sensitive/non-judgemental/ practical/supportive/discrete.
  • DO prioritise safety over work efficiency.
  • DO allocate some private time and space to listen.
  • DO NOT seek proof of abuse.
  • Do NOT tell them what to do.

If your workplace would like us to write / review your Domestic Violence policy please get in touch at: Hello@mensaid.ie

What is the effects of Domestic Violence/Coercive Control on children

Statistics have shown that children who are exposed to abuse / violence in the home have a higher incidence of being subjected to physical abuse. These children may also be at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health issues. Children who witness violence between parents are victims and may also be at greater risk of being involved in IPV.

Fathers who are victims of Domestic violence /Coercive control have told us that abuse can be difficult to identify and furthermore it can be difficult to know what steps to take to protect your child. Men’s Aid regard the welfare of the child as paramount and with this in mind will always strive to protect children and young people from harm. Men’s Aid will always refer any such concerns to Tusla or The Garda Síochána in accordance with Children First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance for the protection and welfare of children.

Child abuse may present in a number of different ways including neglect/emotional/ill treatment/physical abuse/sexual abuse.

From our conversations with male victims and a study by Dr Melissa Corbally (2018) Men’s Aid responds in accordance with Children First to many reports of second wave abuse of the man whose contact with his children is lessened/reduced/stopped. Men tell us that this has caused a negative experience for their child in the form of fear, panic, grief (a combination of sadness and loss), depression, helplessness and hopelessness. It may be said that these children have lost a lifeline.

One in seven (14.2%) children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood.

Children First

In keeping with the requirements of the Istanbul Convention, Men’s Aid is committed to working in co-operation with other NGO groups, Tusla and The Garda Síochána to protect the welfare of all children.

In that regard Men’s Aid carries out its function in a manner that is sensitive and supportive to ensuring that our child welfare and protection obligations are delivered fully in accordance with Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 and The Children’s First Act 2015.

Parents and guardians have the primary responsibility for the care and protection of their children. However, at times they may need support and assistance from the State in carrying out their responsibilities as a parent. In some cases, for a range of reasons, parents are not able to provide proper care and protection for their children, and more intensive assistance is needed to keep the children safe from harm. Interventions by the State aim to build on the existing strengths of the family. Support is offered to help the family to overcome any difficulties and to ensure that the child is safe. With assistance, most families can make the necessary changes to ensure the safety of their child. (Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

What is Parental Alienation

July 2023
The term Parental Alienation is one which is familiar to those engaged in supporting victims of Domestic Violence/ Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control including the Judiciary, Solicitors, Barristers, Social workers, Child Protection workers and Domestic Abuse support workers and the Victim.

In the absence however of a Legal or Social definition, Men’s Aid Ireland shall use the following definition as set out below:

Parental Alienation is a deliberate attempt by one parent to distance or separate his / her children from the other parent.

Men’s Aid acknowledges that the welfare of the child is paramount. This is the cornerstone of all our interactions with victims and has its authority in The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified in Ireland 1992) and Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 and The Children First act 2015.

In circumstances where a child may be vulnerable to harm in Domestic Violence/ conflictual relationships the best interests of the child are served by engaging with and reporting your concerns to Tulsa the Child and Family agency.  The agency has a statutory responsibility to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and attention.

It should be noted that Men’s Aid experience working with Tusla found they are welcoming to engagement both formally and informally should you be “unsure whether you should report”. Tulsa is committed to ” helping to make our children’s lives better

Some common Parental Alienation Indicators are as follows: 

    • Belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent
    • Encouraging the child to choose sides in parental conflicts.
    • Encouraging to keep secrets from the targeted parent.
    • Parental alienation is not alone access or access issues.
    • Bad-mouthing the other parent.
    • Limiting contact with that parent.
    • Erasing the other parent and their extended family from the life and mind of the the child (forbidding discussion and pictures of the other parent).
    • Forcing the child to reject the other parent.
    • Creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous.
    • Forcing the child to choose between the parents by means of threats of withdrawal of affection.

While we wait for guidance from the Dept. of Justice, Men’s Aid will continue to sign post service users where there are indicators of Parental Alienation or access issues to the relevant agency such as Tusla – FLAC/Legal Aid / Solicitor.

Where the service user has suicidal ideation, Men’s Aid signposts to services such as Pieta House/ Samaritans /A&E / Local Mental health clinic / An Garda Siochana.

Where there is a risk of abduction Men’s Aid refer the service user to An Garda Siochana.

How do I contact Men's Aid Ireland for help?

Call our national Confidential Helpline: 01-5543811

Email us: hello@mensaid.ie.

We provide support services nationwide.

How do I make an appointment?

All clients can make one to one appointments directly with our support workers by contacting the national crisis helpline on: 01-5543811

There is also a drop in facility at our Navan office: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.

Confidential E-mail: hello@mensaid.ie.

Does your service cost anything?

Men’s Aid Ireland is an Irish charity and does not apply fees to our services. However, donations are greatly appreciated.

What legal orders are available?

Types of Domestic Violence Orders

Protection order
This is a temporary safety order. It gives protection to the applicant until the court decides on a safety or barring order application. It is intended to last until the case is heard and a decision made. It does not oblige the respondent to leave the family home.

Interim barring order
This is a temporary barring order. It is intended to last until the barring order application is heard in court and a decision made. Under the Domestic Violence Act, 2002 a full court hearing must take place within eight working days of the granting of an interim barring order. The Court must be of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds for believing there is an immediate risk of significant harm to the applicant or any dependent person and where the granting of a protection order would not be sufficient to protect the applicant or any dependent person.

Safety order
A safety order prohibits the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) from engaging in violence or threats of violence. It does not oblige that person to leave the family home. If the person does not normally live in the family home, it prohibits them from watching or besetting where the person applying for the order (the applicant) and dependent children lives. A safety order can be made for up to five years.

Barring order
A barring order requires the respondent to leave the family home and stay away from the family home of the applicant and/or dependent children. It also includes terms prohibiting the respondent from using or threatening to use violence. A barring order can be granted for up to three years.

Emergency Barring Order
An emergency barring order requires the abusive person to leave the home, and prohibits the person from entering the home. This is an immediate order where there is reasonable grounds to believe there is an immediate risk of significant harm to you (the applicant) or a dependent person.
An emergency barring order may be obtained by:

  • a person who is not a spouse or civil partner or is not related to the respondent but did live in an intimate relationship with the respondent prior to the application.
  • a parent of the respondent who is not a dependent.