| 5.5°C Dublin

new report Fears domestic violence crisis is being 'exacerbated' during lockdown after rise in women seeking support

A new report has revealed how at least 2,018 women and 550 children received support from a domestic violence service each month from September to December last year.

Close

Many women are trapped with their abuser.

Many women are trapped with their abuser.

Many women are trapped with their abuser.

The numbers affected by domestic violence in Ireland have been described as “quite shocking" by one of the country’s agencies dealing with the crisis.

Edel Hackett, communications manager with Safe Ireland, told Breakfast Briefing on Newstalk that the situation could be exacerbated by the lockdown restrictions.

She was speaking as a new report revealed how at least 2,018 women and 550 children received support from a domestic violence service each month from September to December last year.

November was the busiest month of the four-month period, according to Safe Ireland's second Tracking the Shadow Pandemic – Lockdown 2 report.

When Ireland was at the height of its second level five lockdown, over 2,180 women and 602 children received support from a dedicated domestic violence service.

However, more than 2,445 new women and 486 new children contacted a domestic violence service for the very first time in these four months.

This equates to 611 new women and 122 new children every month - or 20 new women and four children every day who had never contacted a service before.

Ms Hackett said that “even in an extraordinary time of crisis, the numbers we are seeing is quite shocking".

"This second report has shown an increase again on that first lockdown".

She said Safe Ireland members are "very concerned about this third lockdown".

"As we all know, this is a very difficult lockdown for everybody - but if you're living in a house with abuse it's particularly difficult.

"And because schools are closed as well, that makes it a little bit more difficult because there is no respite even or no escape."

But she said no lockdown can stop people leaving an unsafe situation.

"Our message to survivors remains really clear and steadfast: first of all, you don't have to stay in an oppressive household, and that there is professional support... in your community".

She added that they want to take action based on these reports.

"I suppose one of the positives about doing these reports in that we do know more about the prevalence and the patterns of domestic violence.

"So our message again, and the message as always, [is] there's no point in these reports sitting on a shelf - we have to use them to do something better, and to change the way we respond to survivors.

"Not just in lockdown, but as we move out of it and for forever".

Helpline calls were also up on average over the second part of the year.

Domestic violence services answered 23,336 helpline calls over the period, an average of 191 calls a day.

This was up slightly from 184 calls a day in the first six months of the pandemic.

November was also the busiest month of the period, with nine answered every hour, resulting in a total of 6,409 calls.


Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy