Domestic exclusion order and sentencing for domestic violence

People who commit domestic violence can be issued with a 10-day domestic exclusion order. In this 10-day period, all the parties involved will receive help: the offender, the victim and any children affected. The Public Prosecution Service can also decide to prosecute offenders.

Domestic exclusion order in cases of domestic violence

Sometimes, the police encounter threatening domestic situations in people’s homes, but no crime has been committed (yet). In such cases, the police cannot arrest anyone and nobody can be prosecuted. Domestic exclusion orders allow the police to act before the situation escalates, and protect the partner, children or other members of the household. As long as the order is in place, the person it applies to may not contact their partner or children.

A person placed under an order can apply to the administrative court for review.

Implementing and extending a domestic exclusion order

Anyone subject to a domestic exclusion order must comply with it. If they do not, they may be sentenced to up to two years’ imprisonment or receive an alternative sanction. The court can extend the domestic exclusion order to a maximum of four weeks. Domestic exclusion orders are designed to prevent situations from escalating. They provide a cooling-off period, allowing time for social services to get involved and help the potential offender, the victim and any children affected. This is laid down in the Temporary Domestic Exclusion Order Act.

Sentencing for domestic violence

Domestic violence involves serious offences, including physical and sexual violence, stalking and threatening behaviour. Perpetrators can be tried in court for these offences. Heavier sentences may be imposed for assault if the victim is a family member.

Prosecution for domestic violence

Combating domestic violence is a priority for the police and the Public Prosecution Service. If the victim does not lodge a criminal complaint, the police will gather as much evidence as possible so the suspect can be prosecuted anyway.