We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Data on domestic violence ‘lagging’ – CoE group
Pic: Shutterstock

14 Nov 2023 / human rights Print

Data on domestic violence ‘lagging’ – CoE group

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has welcomed some of the recommendations made in a report on Ireland by the Council of Europe GREVIO Committee yesterday (13 November).

GREVIO (The Group of Experts on Action Against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence) called on the State to ensure that legal aid in civil proceedings was more accessible for victims of gender-based violence, in particular by raising the income threshold for eligibility.

In addition, its report called for the extension of offences for which free legal aid could be provided to victims of gender-based violence, ensuring that it could be provided as early as the reporting or investigation stage.

IHREC’s submission to the group had noted the limitations of the Legal Aid Board, particularly its exclusion from providing legal representation before many quasi-judicial tribunals and bodies that victims and survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) may engage with as they deal with issues relating to social welfare and housing.

Domestic-homicide review

The commission strongly welcomed the report’s recommendation on the need for a domestic-homicide review.

GREVIO encouraged the State to introduce a system, such as a review mechanism, to analyse all cases of gender-based killings of women.

IHREC also welcomed a finding that more should be done to address the needs of women with disabilities in the goals and objectives of the Third National Strategy on DSGBV, pointing out that such women were more likely to experience domestic violence and rape, psychological violence, and intimate-partner violence than non-disabled women.

Data collection

The GREVIO report also called for better data collection on DSGBV, finding that current data collection by State agencies was “significantly lagging”, and failed to provide an overall picture of domestic violence, other forms of violence against women, and data in relation to victims.

The report, however, highlighted “numerous” positive legal and policy measures that had been taken by authorities in Ireland, “which demonstrate their firm resolve to prevent and combat domestic violence and violence against women”.

Among other measures, it cited the adoption of the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 and the Domestic Violence Act 2018, which criminalised coercive control and forced marriage.

‘Crisis levels’

IHREC Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney described violence against women as remaining “at crisis levels” in Ireland.

“In order to better understand the nature and extent of violence against women, we need better data,” she stated.

“We reiterate our calls for domestic-homicide reviews, and for a gold standard of data collection so we can work toward a zero-tolerance culture toward violence against women in Ireland,” Gibney concluded.


Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland