Women's Aid welcomes agreement on EU wide protection for victims of domestic violence.

11 Mar 2013

  • Regulation for a European Protection Order (Civil Law) will strengthen the rights of victims and ensure that orders, such as barring orders, can still be enforced even if the victim travels or moves from EU country to another.
  • Measure agreed at discussions held by the Irish Presidency and approved at the Justice and Home Affairs Council, chaired by Minister Alan Shatter, T.D on 8th March 2013, International Women's Day.
  • Regulation to come into force in 2015.

On Monday 11th March 2013, Women's Aid welcomes the agreement to improve the protection for victims of domestic abuse across Europe. The new regulation, which is likely to come into effect in 2015, will ensure that domestic violence orders issued in one EU country will be recognised and enforced in another jurisdiction. The Regulation for a European Protection Order will strengthen the rights of victims and was discussed and agreed by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers under the Irish Presidency of the EU in February and today approved at a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels.

Welcoming the measure, Margaret Martin, Director of Women's Aid, says: "This development means that a woman who has gone through the legal system in Ireland to secure protection from domestic abuse under the Domestic Violence Act will be able travel or move to another EU country safe in the knowledge that her legal protection travels with her. This very important development guarantees continuity of protection and freedom of movement for women affected by domestic abuse."

The draft regulation agreed at Friday's meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council is now expected to pass to the European Parliament for a plenary vote in April and finalised at the Justice Council in June. After which focus will move to implementation of the Regulation by member states.

Ms Martin concludes: "While it may take some time to come into force, the move towards the implementation of an EU wide Protection Order is a vital and concrete action that will increase safety and protection for women affected by domestic abuse."

End.

Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900, open 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
www.womensaid.ie

Contact Christina Sherlock on 01 678 8858 or 087 9192457 for more information.

Notes to editors/producers

  • According to Women's Aid, 1 in 5 women in Ireland over the age of 18 will experience physical, emotional and sexual abuse in her lifetime.
  • Women's Aid is the national organisation providing support and information to women experiencing domestic abuse. It has been working in Ireland to stop domestic abuse against women and children since 1974. It is the only free, national, domestic abuse helpline with specialised trained staff, accredited by The Helplines Association and with a Telephone Interpretation Service covering 170 languages for callers needing interpreting services. Women's Aid also offers a Dublin-based One to One Support Service and Court Accompaniment Service and also refers to local refuges and support services around the country.
  • In 2011, the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline answered over 11,000 calls. There were 8,399 disclosures of emotional abuse, 2,337 disclosures of physical abuse, and 1,399 disclosures of financial abuse. 477 disclosures of sexual abuse were recorded, with 184 rapes within relationships being reported to the service. There were an additional 892 disclosures of emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse to the Women's Aid One to One Support Services in 2011. Therefore, in total, there were 13,504 disclosures of abuse to Women's Aid in 2011.
  • For more information on the decision visit http://eu2013.ie/news/news-items/20130308postjusticecouncilpr/