The Government has announced what it calls its "most ambitious" plan to date to tackle domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence (DSGBV).

Organisations that work with victims of domestic violence have welcomed the publication of the 'zero tolerance' strategy, a five-year programme of reform worth €363m.

Here are some key points from the new plan.

New statutory DSGBV agency

A new statutory agency will be established by January 2024 as part of the wider strategy.

The new agency will coordinate the implementation of the zero tolerance strategy, and report to the Minister for Justice.

In relation to the establishment of a statutory agency, Minister McEntee said: "We have set a timeline of 18 months. That obviously involves working with the sector, working with those who understand and know this space as to how we establish it in the best way possible.

"It means going through legislation and obviously all of that takes time."

She added that she will be working with Tusla directly prior to any agency being set up as part of this plan.

Criminal law reform

On prosecution, the plan is to increase the maximum sentence from five years to ten years for assault causing harm - one of the most common charges in cases of domestic abuse.

This measure will be included in the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which will be enacted by the end of the year.

A review cycle will be developed within the Department of Justice to identify and consider further reforms to the law.

There will also be new legislation to provide for the introduction of a specific offence of non-fatal strangulation, and a specific offence of stalking.

Double the number of refuge spaces

When it comes to protection, the plan is to work to double the number of refuge spaces - an apartment-type unit where victims of domestic abuse can seek safety - over the lifetime of the strategy, from 141 to 282.

This will be the fastest ever expansion of refuge spaces, according to the department, and will ensure that every county has a refuge - a building which can contain a number of apartment type units.

The number of safe homes - accommodation for victims and children in homes in the community, rather than refuges - will be increased by a third by the end of this year, from 30 to 44 with further expansion over the duration of the plan.

Public awareness campaigns

There will be "ambitious awareness raising campaigns" to focus on attitudes among men and boys, increase awareness of services and supports among victims and reach migrant and minority communities, as well as the roll-out of the national campaign on consent.

National sexual violence and national domestic violence prevalence studies are also set to be conducted alternately at five-year intervals.

Curriculum overhaul

The strategy includes updated secondary school relationships and sexuality education curricula at junior and senior cycle to include consent, domestic violence, coercive control and safe use of the internet.

The new junior cycle curriculum will be finalised in September 2022 for public consultation and rolled out in September 2023, with revised senior cycle curriculum finalised by September 2023 for public consultation and rolled out in September 2024.

A revised primary school curriculum to include the same topics, taught in an age appropriate way, will be finalised for consultation by 2024.

An online hub on consent and sexual awareness across the third-level education sector will also be rolled out.

The plan also includes the collection of data on the rate of sexual violence and harassment across the higher education sector.

Training frontline workers to identify and help victims

There will be improved training for professionals and support staff engaged with domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

A night time economy charter will be developed for industry safety standards - this will be a requirement for annual licence renewals.

New public transport passenger safety and personal security reports will be undertaken and published by the Department of Transport and National Transport Authority every year.

Support to stay at home

Work will get under way to remove the legal barriers that prevent individuals experiencing sexual or domestic violence from remaining at home, where it is safe to do so, and also examining how to allow gardaí to issue removal orders to take offenders out of the home in high-risk cases.

National support services for children, trauma-informed therapeutic counselling services for adults and children, and trauma-informed parenting supports will also be rolled out.

New Family Court Bill

The Family Justice Strategy will be implemented and the Family Court Bill enacted to make a more user friendly family court system, according to the plan.

Prosecutions for civil orders

The prosecution of domestic, sexual and gender based violence cases should be improved under the plan, which aims to provide specialised training across the entire Office of Director of Public Prosecutions and strengthen training in An Garda Siochána.

Additional training will be provided in the gardaí to improve prosecutions for breaches of all civil orders related to domestic and gender-based violence.