Justice Minister Helen McEntee has promised to publish new felony offences for stalking and non-fatal strangulation in wake of the homicide of Ashling Murphy.
Addressing the Dáil, Ms McEntee mentioned that her division will now take over refuges, providers, and different helps for victims of home, sexual, and gender-based violence.
Ms McEntee mentioned the demise of the trainer had struck a chord as “in Ashling, we see our sisters, our daughters, and our moms.
The minister advised the Dáil that she’s going to publish a invoice earlier than Easter that may embody new felony offences for stalking.
Whereas stalking itself is already coated by current legislation, Ms McEntee is proposing adjustments to make the legislation “clearer and stronger”.
The adjustments will embody the specific reference to stalking as a felony offence, and it’ll replace the legislation to verify it contains all types of trendy communications.
It would make it clear that stalking contains watching or following a sufferer, even the place they don’t seem to be conscious of being watched or adopted.
It would additionally contemplate introducing a provision to permit a sufferer, in very critical instances, to use to the courtroom for an order to forestall the alleged perpetrator from speaking with them prematurely of a trial.
Lastly, it’s going to make it clear that impersonating the sufferer, after which speaking with a 3rd social gathering, is unlawful.
Ms McEntee added: “Whereas choking and strangling are already unlawful, creating a brand new, standalone offence ought to encourage victims to return ahead and report what has occurred to them.
There are presently 9 counties that also should not have an emergency refuge for girls and youngsters. Ms McEntee mentioned she’s going to now take accountability for the coverage and repair provision of refuges and different providers, which had been underneath the Division of Youngsters up till now.
“Work is underneath means on how this will likely be structured, and I’ll announce additional particulars within the coming weeks,” she advised the Dáil.