Domestic violence cases are at all time high in Ireland

Pic: Pexels

Domestic violence cases in Ireland are now at a record high – once again proving that much still needs to be done in tackling male violence against women.

New statistics from Women’s Aid show that there were 40,048 disclosures of domestic abuse against women and children in Ireland in 2023 – an 18% increase compared to the previous year, and the highest in the charity’s history.

There has also been a noticeable increase in physical and financial abuse cases.

Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid says the ever rising number of cases is “utterly appalling.” However, she adds, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“One in four women in Ireland is subjected to domestic abuse and there are also so many children, families and whole communities also impacted,” she says.

“Fear, stigma, and self-blame due to the impact of the abuse – but also persisting social attitudes to domestic violence prevent victims from coming forward. So many victims-survivors lack the information or confidence to contact specialist services, and about one third will suffer in total isolation, telling nobody is happening to them.”

via Pexels

Sarah says that much is still needed to be done to break the stigma attached to seeking help. Women’s Aid is now in its 50th year in Ireland, and although there have been positive changes along the way (new legislation around coercive control and increased service access), there are also new tools being used to abuse women – in the home and outside of it.

“Behind our harrowing statistics there are strong, resilient women who have taken a courageous step to share their story to our frontline services,” she says.

“We know that so many more women suffer alone, in silence and without specialist support. Most of the women contacting the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline and regional face-to-face services disclosed that they were being subjected to and threatened with multiple forms of abuse at the same time, which constitutes coercive control by a current or former male intimate partner.”

The Irish government is now in its third year of the Third National Domestic Sexual and Gender Based Violence Strategy, which aims to eradicate male violence against women.

Sarah says that this progress is promising, but much work still needs to be done regarding education, the introduction of stalking and non-fatal strangulation legislation, statutory paid domestic violence leave, the family law system, and more.

If you have been affected by any of the details of this article, you can contact Women’s Aid on 1800 341 900


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