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).
We work to improve the delivery of a well co-ordinated effective response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland. We do this by facilitating action for the prevention of these crimes, the protection of victims and the provision of services for those affected.
Since its establishment Cosc's work has been focused on the development of a National Strategy in consultation with all relevant Departments, agencies and NGO service providers. The first National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence was published in March 2010 and ended in 2014. The Second National Strategy runs from 2016 - 2021.
How does Cosc do its work?
Cosc carries out its functions principally through interaction with interested and relevant organisations either on a one-to-one basis or through a small number of committees. The office strives to ensure a partnership approach working in a structure which minimises the number of committees. Cosc drives the follow-up action arising from these discussions with a view to improving co-ordination of preventative and responsive action.
The current primary function of Cosc is to drive the implementation of the Second National Strategy on Domestic Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016 - 2021 and Action Plan.