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Image / Self / Real-life Stories

Gardaí commend woman for reporting coercive control: “a beacon of hope” for other victims

by Megan Burns
12th Nov 2020

Yesterday her former partner was convicted of coercive control, intimidation and multiple assaults, the first person to be found guilty of the offences under the 2018 Domestic Violence Act.

Chief Superintendent Finbar Murphy of the Dublin Metropolitan Region, said he wanted to commend the bravery and courage of the victim of a coercive control case for bringing it before court.

It comes after the 52 year old man was convicted of coercive control, intimidation and multiple assaults on his former partner. This marks the first time anyone has been convicted under the new 2018 Domestic Violence Act following a trial.

The woman had been burned, punched, headbutted, stamped on, and strangled by her former partner, but she explained that the abuse began gradually. He slowly tried to isloate her from friends and family, answering her phone so they wouldn’t call, and taking her social welfare money.

“I couldn’t even walk to the shops on my own,” she said, such was the level of control he had. He also threatened to post naked photos and videos of her to the internet if she didn’t withdraw allegations against him.

The abuse came to light after the hospital where the victim was being treated for injuries informed the gardaí.

After the victim bravely gave evidence against him, he was found guilty of all but the two charges, with sentencing to follow.

In a statement the Chief Superintendent said that the victim was “a beacon of hope to a lot of people who find themselves in a similar situation, and it is something they will draw a lot of courage from themselves in hearing her story”.

He continued: “Anyone who has found themselves in a similar situation, if you are a victim of coercive control, if you are the subject of abuse or assault and whether you are in a gay relationship or a heterosexual relationship, whether you are married or have a partner, whether you are young or old, you do not have to put up with this behaviour.”

He reassured people that anyone reporting a similar crime would receive both a sympathetic hearing and a professional service from us. “We will link you up with other professional services who will help you through this process and give you back your life.”

He added, “And remember, none of this is your fault. This is the fault of the person who is committing the offences against you.”

If you are affected by any of these issues, contact the Women’s Aid 24-hour helpline on 1800 341 900 or Men’s Aid on 01-554 3811.

Featured image: RTÉ News

Read more: Covid-19: Thousands more women contact domestic violence services

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