Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of domestic homicides reported in each of the years 1996 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26581/19]
278. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures put in place to improve the recording of domestic homicides by the Garda PULSE system in response to concerns raised at the 7 March 2018 meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26582/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 and 278 together.
I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on the specific information sought by the Deputy. I have also sought their views on measures to improve the recording of domestic homicides on the PULSE system and I will contact the Deputy again when the response is to hand.
The Deputy will be aware that the Domestic Violence Act 2018 is a landmark piece of legislation which significantly enhanced the legal protections available to victims of this appalling form of violence. I was pleased to commence all of the provisions of the Act on 1 January last, including the innovative provision which created a new offence of coercive control which recognises the psychological abuse aspect of domestic violence.
On 14 May I announced that my Department was commissioning an independent specialist in-depth research study focussing on two distinct pillars:
1. the provision of supports to families who are victims of familicide;
2. international best practice in the conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews.
I am very pleased that Ms. Norah Gibbons agreed to lead the study. Ms. Gibbons will be joined by a small team of experts and with administrative support provided by my Department. The study, on which initial work has started, will involve consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including State agencies, family members of victims and non-governmental organisations.
A public advertisement was placed in the national newspapers last week calling for submissions to the study and I would call on all interested parties, who can assist the work of this study, to make a submission to the study team at firstname.lastname@example.org Interested parties can also request a meeting with the team by way of the same e-mail address.