Just six people have been convicted of coercive control since it became a criminal offence in early 2019.
Coercive control is a form of psychological abuse that involves 'controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour', normally by a partner.
The offence was introduced three-and-a-half years ago in January 2019 as part of efforts to clamp down on domestic abuse.
According to the Freedom of Information figures released to Newstalk, the DPP has opted to prosecute 42 people for the offence in the past three and a half years.
That figure includes two people in 2019, five in 2020, 22 in 2021, and 13 so far this year.
A total of six people have been convicted.
Barrister Morgan Shelley told Newstalk the figure is not surprising given how new the offence is.
“The offence only came into effect in January 2019,” he said.
“Part of the offence is, somebody has to have persistently engaged in coercive control and because of that, all of that persistent behaviour has to have come after January 1st, 2019.”
“We only saw five prosecutions in 2020 and two prosecutions in 2019 because it is a new offence,” he said.
“So, we can anticipate that as the number of prosecutions has trebled between those two years and just 2021, we can expect to see a lot more convictions I would say over the next while.
“There is a terrible backlog in the courts at the moment and so cases are taking two or three years to get to trial.”
The DPP said the conviction figure for cases over the past three and a half years may increase over time, as many prosecutions may not have been heard in court yet.
It comes as the Justice Minister prepares to publish a new €363m five-year strategy for tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.