CALLS TO domestic abuse helplines have skyrocketed since Ireland went into lockdown, a disturbing report from charity Women's Aid has revealed.
New figures released from the organisation today has shown a 40% increase in women calling the charity to seek help from abusive partners, with the charity receiving over 4,000 calls to its 24-hour helpline since late March.
Visits to the Women's Aid website has also increased by a concerning 74% when compared to the same time last year.
The report says that women have called the helpline disclosing that they have been trapped, strangled, beaten and raped by abusive partners during the Covid-19 crisis, with no escape or safe space due to the lockdown.
Women's Aid CEO Sarah Benson said that the safety of remaining at home has been a reiterated by the Government throughout the crisis-- "however, this crisis has also focused minds on homes that are not safe at all".
“We have spoken to women who have been attacked with weapons and fists, who are being verbally abused, controlled and monitored at all times. Women with underlying health issues have reported that their partners are not adhering to Covid-19 restrictions deliberately.”
“The dire impacts on women’s physical and mental wellbeing are already acutely evident,” Ms Benson continued.
“We are really concerned that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and an essential part of post Covid-19 planning must be increasing the supports and protections to maximise the safety and well-being of victims of domestic abuse, including sexual abuse and coercive control.”
Child safety charity ISPCC had previously voiced their concerns that a record number of children were calling their Childline helpline, stating after a 30% rise that "with schools closed because of Covid-19 it means some children are home in unsafe environments".
Services for victims of domestic abuse are still available during the coronavirus pandemic, and if you or someone you know are in need of help, you can reach out to the following organisations.
Women’s Aid: 1800 341 900
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 778 888
Men’s Aid: 01 554 3811