Ireland: Woman granted protection order against her husband under Domestic Violence Act for alleged HIV non-disclosure


Court grants protection order for woman who discovered her husband has HIV

February 25, 2024
Source: Irish Mirror

A judge has granted a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act to a woman after she told a court that her husband had concealed his HIV status from her.

At the Family Law Court, the district court judge told the woman that she needed to report her husband’s “deception” over his HIV status to gardaí.

“The deception here is that he knew that he had HIV and he continued to have, I assume, relations with you as normal without telling you?” the judge asked the woman.

‘Yes,” she replied.

The district court judge told the woman: “I am nearly certain that this is a criminal offence in terms of the issues. He was diagnosed with HIV and he didn’t tell you.”

The woman said that, after finding out about her husband’s HIV status, she took a HIV test and is awaiting the results.

She provided a written statement to the court grounding her protection order application, which was made on an ex parte basis where her husband was not present.

After reading her written statement, the judge asked: “You are frightened that if he comes back to the house that he will give you HIV if you haven’t got it already?”

The woman replied “Yes.”

She told the court that she didn’t know how her husband had contracted HIV, and said she was “shocked” when she was told by a third party of his condition.

She told the judge that her husband hadn’t said how long he has had HIV.

The judge said he was “happy to grant the order on that basis but I think you are at risk and he may believe that he can continue as is”.

The judge confirmed that gardaí would serve the contents of the protection order on the man. If he breaches the order, he can be arrested without warrant on foot of a complaint by the woman and be brought before a court.

The protection order will remain in place pending a hearing for a safety order, which the man can contest in court.

A number of accused men have appeared in criminal courts in Ireland and overseas charged with causing serious harm by knowingly and recklessly infecting sexual partners with HIV.