Abusive Behaviour in an intimate or family relationship – Domestic Abuse Offence - Statutory Guidance

Date published: 03 March 2022

Last updated: 22 March 2022

This guidance has been developed in conjunction with key voluntary and statutory partners and published by the Department of Justice as statutory guidance under section 30 of the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021.  It applies to abusive behaviour carried out in Northern Ireland as well as abroad (where the accused is normally resident in Northern Ireland).  


The guidance should:

•    be used by the police, social services and criminal justice agencies investigating offences (or joint protocol cases);
•    assist those taking forward criminal proceedings for the domestic abuse offence;
•    guide the Probation Board for Northern Ireland in their assessment and analysis for the courts at pre-sentence stage; 
•    assist the work of non-governmental organisations and voluntary organisations; 
•    inform educational tools to raise awareness of the new domestic abuse offence; and
•    provide information on domestic abuse, and the domestic abuse offence under the Act, to those interested in the subject area (including anyone affected by domestic abuse).

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