The first conviction and sentencing for the Offence of Coercive Control in Ireland was handed down yesterday at Letterkenny Circuit Court.
Coercive Control is an offence contrary to Section 39 of the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
Following yesterday’s proceedings at Letterkenny Circuit Court, Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau said:
“This conviction and sentencing, the first of its’ kind in the state, further demonstrates An Garda Síochána’s dedication to fully investigate all matters related to this vital legislation in order to protect some of Ireland’s most vulnerable persons.”
Coercive control is described as an insidious and demeaning crime designed to degrade and debilitate.
Detective Chief Superintendent Daly says it is a deeply dangerous and personal crime usually committed over a prolonged period and occurs when a current or ex-partner knowingly and persistently engages in behaviour that is controlling or intimidating and is having a serious effect on a person.
The victim may fear violence will be used against them, or may be suffering serious alarm or distress.
Every aspect of the victim’s life may be controlled, including access to personal finances and the freedom to see family and friends.
Coercive Control is a pattern of behaviour, incidents or details that in isolation are not a criminal offence, but when viewed together display a web of abuse that is insidiously and forcibly eroding at a person’s quality of life.