65. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will address the concerns expressed by an organisation (details supplied) regarding the gaps in the Domestic Violence Bill. [15748/17]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will be aware the Domestic Violence Bill 2017 was published on 3 February and is currently proceeding through the Houses, with a view to enactment as soon as possible this year.
The Domestic Violence Bill will particularly improve the protections available to victims of domestic abuse, most critically for cohabitants and parents in crisis situations, by introducing a new emergency barring order which can last for up to 8 working days. The Bill also aims to make the court process easier for victims of domestic violence. A victim will have the right to be accompanied to court by a family member, friend or support worker. A victim will be able to give evidence by live television link. There will be restrictions on attendance at both civil and criminal court proceedings and protections for the victims anonymity.
I have received several submissions from various organisations in relation to the Bill, including from the organisation mentioned in the details supplied, which have all been given consideration. While it may not be possible to include all the recommendations in the final draft of the Bill several are under active consideration for inclusion by way of Ministerial amendment in the final draft of the legislation.