ADAPT Domestic Abuse Service have partnered with Limerick Court Services to provide a free and confidential information and referral service to help women experiencing domestic abuse plug in to the legal protections available to them.
This service is currently available every Monday in Limerick Courthouse in Merchant’s Quay and women need only ask at recepetion or one of the court clerks to avail of it.
It is also available on Tuesday mornings from 10am to 11am in the Criminal Court on Mulgrave Street.
This new service offers support women who are seeking protection through the courts. It is based on a model that has been successfully running in Dolphin House Family Law Court in Dublin for a number of years.
A support worker from ADAPT meets the woman in a confidential meeting room and supports them throughout the process of applying for relevant court orders.
“The thought of going to court can be daunting but a woman doesn’t have to do this on her own. ADAPT can provide emotional and practical support throughout the process,” a spokeswoman said.
The organisation believes the new service is particularly important given the changes that have come in under the Domestic Violence Act 2018 in January.
The Act brought in important changes to domestic violence orders (Protection Orders, Safety Orders, Barring Orders and Interim Barring Orders) which will give victims of domestic abuse greater access to legal protection through the courts. Emergency Barring Orders, were also introduced under the new Act.
A new offence of Coercive Control has also been introduced, to deal with situations where someone knowingly and persistently engages in behaviour that is controlling or coercive, and it has a serious effect on the person’s spouse/civil partner, or someone with whom the person has an intimate relationship.
The offence of coercive control is an arrestable offence, liable on conviction to a fine or a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years.
Director of ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services, Monica McElvaney welcomes the new Acr. “As well as the changes to existing orders and the new offence of Coercive Control, a number of additional measures have been included in the Act to offer greater protection and ease of access to legal protection for victims’,” she said.
An Garda Síochána have been informed of the service and are working in collaboration with ADAPT to further respond to the needs of people experiencing domestic violence.
For further information on the Court and Information Service please contact Denise Dunne on 061-412354. Anyone needing support around domestic abuse can contact ADAT’s 24 Confidential Freephone Helpline on 1800 200 504.