217 PEOPLE have been prosecuted for charges relating to domestic abuse and violence since the pandemic began in Ireland, Gardaí have revealed.
An Garda Síochána launched Operation Faoiseamh in April of this year in order to provide 'enhanced proactive support' to victims of domestic abuse while restrictions on travel and movement due to the pandemic are in place.
According to a new report, in the past six weeks alone, 110 prosecutions related to investigations under Operation Faoiseamh were before the courts, all for charges related to the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
Since Operation Faoiseamh began in April, there have been 217 prosecutions relating to domestic violence and abuse in Ireland. A Garda report indicates that all 217 prosecutions are a direct result of Garda activity under the operation.
Gardaí have contacted or made attempts to contact people in relation to possible domestic abuse almost 21,000 times since Operation Faoiseamh was launched, and note there has been a 17% increase year on year increase in calls for assistance from victims.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau said:
"Through our community engagement response to Covid-19, Operation Faoiseamh has protected victims, provided comfort and assurance to those victims experiencing domestic abuse.
"An Garda Síochána are mindful of the fear and concern some in our community have during Covid restrictions. We continue to robustly provide assistance and support to victims of Domestic Abuse, and to all vulnerable victims. An Garda Síochána will continue to ensure your safety and I encourage anyone who feels threatened or is in fear to contact us and we will respond quickly and vigorously.
"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 Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect."
Operation Faoiseamh is still ongoing, will continue over the Christmas period and until all restrictions on travel and movement are lifted.