Support Gardai reach out to victims of domestic abuse amid lockdown restrictions
Incidents of domestic violence have increased by 18% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Gardai are to reach out to past victims of domestic abuse to offer support amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
They have reminded the public that the five-kilometre travel restrictions do not apply in cases of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm.
The third phase of Operation Faoiseamh begins on Wednesday and will see a renewed focus on the enforcement of court orders and the prosecution of offenders.
It has been put in place to combat the increasing number of domestic violence incidents under Covid-19 restrictions, up by 18% compared to 2019.
Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSU), said he wanted to assure victims of domestic abuse that help is available.
He said: “An Garda Siochana are mindful of the fear and concern some in our community may have at this time.
“I wish to take this opportunity to re-emphasise our commitment to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“Operation Faoiseamh has been established to ensure you are safe, if you feel threatened or are in fear please contact us and we will respond quickly and robustly.”
The Gardai say resources dedicated to supporting vulnerable and victims of domestic violence have not been affected during their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 15,320 contacts or attempts at contact with victims of domestic abuse have been recorded as part of Operation Faoiseamh in the year to October 12.
A Garda spokesman said: “A number of victims used the opportunity presented by the proactive contact to request further assistance from An Garda Siochana and local resources were dispatched accordingly.
“The feedback from victims has been overwhelmingly positive.”
There has also been a 14.7% increase in detections for offences relating to breaches of court orders under the Domestic Violence Act as of September 15 this year, Gardai say.
Chief Superintendent Daly added: “If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and I ask that you make contact with An Garda Siochana.
“If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen, to help and to protect.”