It creates the new offence of coercive control

The Justice Minister's announced the launch of the new Domestic Violence Act from today.

Charlie Flanagan says it's about protecting and supporting victims.

One of the key new protections for victims under the criminal law introduced by the Act is the creation of the new offence of coercive control.

This is now accepted as psychological abuse in an intimate relationship that causes fear of violence, or causes enough alarm to impact a person's day-to-day activities.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says the Domestic Violence Act completes a major step towards Ireland's ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

He also acknowledges the work being done by organisations who support victims of domestic violence, and their contribution in strengthening the provisions of the Act.

The Dublin Rap Crisis Centre says it's a hugely important step forward, CEO Noeleen Blackwell says: 'Before you had to use other crimes like assault or coercion or blackmail, you now have a specific crime of domestic violence which is called coercive control.'