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Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

Background and Policy Objectives

3.In March 2016 the Department of Justice published a seven year Strategy ‘Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse in Northern Ireland’, acknowledging the serious nature of domestic violence and abuse, as well as stressing the need to ensure that perpetrators are held to account for their actions. The strategy also provided new Government definitions for both domestic and sexual violence and abuse. These reflected a modern understanding of what domestic and sexual violence and abuse is and included specific reference to controlling and coercive behaviour, that is abusive behaviour. The Strategy outlined a commitment to consult on whether there was a need for a new criminal offence, to capture domestic abuse as criminal behaviour that can be addressed through the justice system.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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