Sinn Féin Move On Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2014

Sinn Féin has put forward its proposed Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2014, described as a "measure that is intended to ensure that victims of domestic violence are not discriminated against."

The party say that the Bill has been drafted to address a gap in existing legislation where a victim of domestic violence, who is living with the abuser in the family home or another property, as a joint-owner of the property, is currently prohibited from being considered by the local authority for social housing due to the their part-ownership in the family home or property in which the they reside or resided with the perpetrator.

Speaking after moving the legislation Teachta Gerry Adams said: "The objective of this Bill is to ensure that a victim, who applies for a barring or protection order, shall not, by virtue of their part-ownership in the residence in which the applicant resides or previously resided with the respondent, will be prohibited from consideration for social housing by a local authority.

"The Bill does not dictate that a victim must automatically get a social house. However it does state that a victim shall not be discriminated against based on their part-ownership of the property where the domestic violence occurred. In many cases this discrimination also includes children.

"The Programme for Government contained a commitment to introduce consolidated and reformed domestic violence legislation to address all aspects of domestic violence. It also contained a commitment to protect victims.

"This echoed commitments in both Labour and Fine Gael’s election manifesto.

"Indeed the Labour party manifesto went further containing a commitment to ‘protect funding for frontline services, such as family refuges, and draw on best international practice to reform the way the courts system deals with domestic abuse case. Clearly this hasn’t happened.

"The Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2014 is intended to close one important gap in the existing legislation and provide support for victims of domestic violence. I would ask the government to support this measure."


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