Domestic abusers face up to 10 years behind bars under the state’s new €360m plan

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Domestic abusers face up to 10 years behind bars under the state’s €360million plan to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee is expected to announce a “zero tolerance” policy for domestic violence on Tuesday.

Proposed changes to the law include doubling the maximum sentence for assault causing damage from five to 10 years.

There will also be additional training in frontline services – including training for health staff to identify signs of domestic violence.

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The five-year plan will be based on four pillars: protection, prevention, prosecution and policy coordination.

It aims to establish new agency and guidelines for shelter centers – and to double the number of places available from 141 to more than 280.

The Department of Housing will also provide earmarked funding for domestic violence shelter accommodation.

All frontline healthcare workers will also receive training to help them detect possible cases of domestic violence and report them to the gardai or other appropriate services.

Speaking as she entered Cabinet on Tuesday, Minister McEntee said the plan was to ensure no one turned a blind eye to the violence.

She said that although it is “ambitious”, the overall goal is zero tolerance.

Details of the zero tolerance strategy to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence will be announced by Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Taoiseach Michael Martin on Tuesday. Its 144 actions will put more emphasis on listening to the experiences of children living with domestic violence.

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