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Domestic Violence during the Covid-19 crisis

What is Domestic Violence?

Physical, sexual, emotional or psychological violence which threatens the safety or welfare of family members, and certain people in other domestic relationships.

Domestic Violence is a crime. You should contact An Garda Síochana if you have not already done so.

If your home isn't safe, support is still here.   A range of supports are still available during the Covid-19 pandemic

Make an application for legal aid online

What can the court grant at this time?

During the Covid-19 crisis, the Courts will still hear applications for Protection Orders and Interim Barring Orders. These are temporary but the Court will make these orders until it can hear an application for a barring order and/or safety order. The court will also hear applications for Emergency Barring Orders. 

Protection Order - a protection order is a temporary safety order which can be granted by a court when a person applies for a safety order and / or barring order. A protection order only lasts until the full court hearing of the application for a safety order and / or barring order. It is not necessary to be living with the person or to have lived with them in the past to apply for a protection order.

An Interim Barring Order - an interim barring order is a temporary barring order. It is only made in exceptional circumstances as it is granted without notice to the person against whom it is made. Where the court is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is an immediate risk of significant harm to the applicant or any dependent person it may grant an interim order. An interim order made without notice to the person against whom it is made can last for no more than eight days. Further orders may be made until the full hearing of the case.

An Emergency Barring Order – an emergency barring order is available in certain circumstances to people living together and parents of adult children who would not be ordinarily able to apply for a barring/interim barring order because they have lesser ownership rights in the place of residence than the person against whom the order is being sought. It can be granted without notice to the person against whom it is made and can last for no longer than eight days.  

All the above orders can be applied for in the local District Court and you may be able to get legal aid to assist in making the application to the Court.

Applying for Legal Aid

If you need legal aid to ask the court for protection from an abusive spouse/partner or other family member, you can apply for legal aid in order to do this.  The Legal Aid Board will treat your application as priority.  Our Legal & Mediation Information Helpline may be able to answer any queries you have.

  • Call our lo-call number on 1890 615 200. This is an emergency number for Domestic Violence applications and we have staff on standby to assist you
  • Email your contact details to info@legalaidboard.ie and we will get back to you as soon as possible
  • Make an application for legal aid online
  • If you live in Dublin, you should contact the Board's Dolphin House Service on 01 675 5566 for information on applying for legal aid and making the court application. You do not need a solicitor to make the application to the Court and the District Court Family Law Office (01 888 6349) will help you start the proceedings.  

Useful Links

Men's Aid

Women’s Aid

Safe Ireland –  A National umbrella group which contains links to local support services