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Policy Priorities

Women’s Aid’s vision is to create an equal Ireland with zero tolerance of domestic abuse and all other forms of violence against women.

Influencing Policy and Government

Women’s Aid’s advocacy and policy is rooted in and informed by women’s voices and experiences from all across Ireland that engage in our Direct Services. It is framed by our Strategic Plan 2022 -2024, and is agile to respond to national and international contextual developments.

Working at national and international level, we provide relevant information and recommendations to government and other relevant agencies on the nature and prevalence of domestic violence, the barriers faced by women experiencing domestic violence, the inadequacies of existing legislation/systems, and information on how to improve system responses to women.

Women’s Aid also prepares submissions to various government bodies, policy and lawmakers. This work aims to build political will and provide relevant information and recommendations on how to better address crimes of violence against women, provide appropriate services, and protect women and their families.

Key improvements

Since 1974, Women’s Aid has a long and successful history of lobbying for key pieces of legislation, which has brought Ireland closer to a culture of zero tolerance of gender-based violence. This includes but is not limited to:

  • The introduction of the Domestic Violence Act
  • The establishment of the Government Taskforce on Violence against Women
  • Increasing funding for domestic violence frontline services
  • Changes to the Domestic Violence Act which have greatly expanded eligibility for orders
  • The introduction of a Stalking offence and for the criminalisation of image-based sexual abuse
  • The ratification of the Istanbul Convention and we continue to work to ensure its implementation in Ireland
  • The introduction of workplace supports including domestic violence paid leave

We continue to lobby for:

  • The improvement of the Domestic Violence Act
  • The implementation of recommendations made in our research on improving the criminal justice system response to domestic violence
  • The progressing of the issues of custody and access in the context of domestic violence
  • A better response to the needs of marginalised women experiencing domestic violence
  • The prevention of domestic violence homicides.
  • The need for take down orders in cases of Image Based Sexual Abuse
  • The prevention of intimate partner violence in young people
  • The addressing of the shortcomings of both the Family and Criminal in respects of victims/survivors

Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and ending domestic violence in Ireland is our ultimate aim.


Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to Women’s Aid’s policy and research work, please email us at