Ireland is making moves to Legislate Against Stalking.
Monday 31st October 2016
We are delighted to announce the Irish Reform Commission in their report published in 2016, has recommended a specific Offence of Stalking to be introduced into Irish Law.1
At a international conference on 25th November 2015, organized by Dublin’s Women's Aid, to mark the start of 16 Days of Action UN Day Opposing Violence against Women, Ann Moulds CEO of AAS delivered a key note speech, calling on the government of Ireland to introduce legislation that would give to Irish victims of stalking the same protection afforded to those living in Scotland, England & Wales.2
The conference highlighted the issue of Domestic Violence and Cybercrime with the aim of examining the issue of online abuse, stalking and non-consensual pornography ('Revenge Porn') in Intimate Relationships. The conference attracted delegates from the Garda Victims Services Officers, politicians and policy makers, Violence against Women Support Services, the community and family resource, sector social care personnel including social workers, probation staff and social care students, other NGOs addressing digital abuse, digital technology and social media companies and the media
The conference organized by Margaret Martin, Director of Women's Dublin’s Aid stated ‘it is vital that we examine this issue now and identify what needs to happen in Ireland to protect women and girls from this insidious form of intimate partner abuse. In our contact with women using Women’s Aid support services they tell us how their partners and ex-partners use new technologies to monitor and harass them online, through mobile phone and texting, often in combination with “more traditional” stalking tactics such as following, watching and abusive calls. Women tell us how their partners use the Internet and social media to control and stalk them, have personal details, including intimate images and videos taken/uploaded without consent, or lay spread about them, and are impersonated by their abuser online
In support of the introduction of anti stalking legislation Margaret stated: “In our experience, the definition of harassment in law is complex and hard to prove, and rarely used to protect women who are stalked by their boyfriends or exes.
Women’s Aid recommends that a specific stalking offence be introduced in Irish law, with a comprehensive but not exhaustive definition, including new forms of cyber-stalking, as well as recognition of stalking as grounds for a safety order.”3