Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has expressed concerns that the ongoing public health crisis is leading to an increases in domestic violence.
“Organisations such as Women’s Aid and Safe Ireland have pointed to an increase in people accessing their services or calling for advice and support over recent weeks. They are pointing to an increase in the frequency and ferocity of domestic abuse as household tensions increase and the ability to seek temporary refuge at work or school has disappeared for many.
“Women’s Aid have spoken about the ‘suffocating circumstances’ that many women and children find themselves in where they are trapped inside with their abuser. In many cases their abuser, who may normally be outside the home for much of the week, is a constant presence in the home due to the current restrictions. Financial hardship has increased for many families and individuals since mid-March, which exacerbates abusive situations by increasing tensions and removing options for victims to be able to leave dangerous situations.
The caretaker Government must step up provide additional supports to people leaving abusive situations and to the organisations that support them.I have discussed this issue with Garda management locally, with the Courts Service and with the Council’s housing department, and sought assurances that responsiveness to domestic abuse situations will not be allowed decrease as a result of emergency restrictions and deployments.
Anyone who believes that they or their children are in immediate danger should call the Gardaí on 999 or 112. For support and advice you can call Women’s Aid 24 hours a day on 1800 341 900. You can also call Oasis House women’s refuge in Waterford on 051 370367. Male victims of domestic abuse can all the Male Advice Line for support on 1800 816 588. For a full list of supports visit www.safeireland.ie.