Cosc

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Cosc is the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Cosc is an Irish word and means "to stop" or "to prevent". Following a Government Decision, Cosc was established in June 2007 with the key responsibility to ensure the delivery of a well co-ordinated "whole of Government" response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. The work of Cosc covers issues relating to domestic and sexual violence against women and men, including older people in the community.

The office is an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality. It is situated within the Department, but has been given a remit to address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence from a cross-government perspective rather than solely from that of the justice sector. Cosc’s role covers co-ordination across the justice, health, housing, education, family support and community sectors. This work includes close interaction with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) supported by Government funds.

The current primary function of Cosc is to drive the implementation of the first
National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2010-2014.

Cosc has been given specific tasks as follows:

  • Working with Government Departments, Agencies, and NGOs in the sector to ensure the delivery of a well co-ordinated service to support victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Developing and delivering awareness raising strategies to ensure that victims are aware of the availability of services in their locality and that society is made aware of the extent and impact of behaviours and crimes of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Developing strategies, standards for service delivery and training programmes to address the issue of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in line with best international practice.
  • Putting in place strategically based positive actions which work with perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • Providing leadership and support to the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women (NSC) and its sub-committees.
  • Continuing to implement the recommendations of the 1997 Task Force Report on Violence Against Women.
  • Working to establish a body of research to inform future policy  directions for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Representing Ireland at international fora which have a remit in relation to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Proposing legislative and policy change. 


Cosc links with the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to domestic and sexual violence involving children.  Cosc also links with the Office for Older People in relation to domestic and sexual violence involving older people.

For information on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland, please visit www.cosc.ie where you will also find more information on the work of Cosc and services for people affected by these forms of violence.

Contact Details

Address:  Department of Justice and Equality
2nd Floor
Montague Court
Montague Street
Dublin 2 
Phone:  + 353 1 476-8680
Fax: + 353 1 476-8619
E-mail:  cosc@justice.ie