Number of domestic abuse victims using support services soars by 55pc
The number of vulnerable women supported by domestic violence charities has soared by more than 55pc over the last five years.
Safe Ireland revealed nearly 8,000 women and some 3,000 children were given help in 2011, with almost 4,000 admitted to a refuge.
But on 2,500 occasions women, many with children, were turned away because emergency accommodation was full.
Sharon O'Halloran of Safe Ireland, which represents frontline domestic violence services, said the figures are horrific and a sad indictment of Irish society.
"We are dealing with a crime that is committed nearly every hour and certainly every day of the year," she said.
"Domestic abuse is heart breaking and it is definitely the most under-reported, largely undocumented and certainly unprosecuted crime in the country."
The charity launched a new ad campaign to get perpetrators to "man up" about domestic violence.
Ms O'Halloran said the stark new campaign switches the focus, for the first time, from the needs and views of survivors - mostly women and children - to the actions and words of those who control and abuse - mostly men.
The disturbing messages in the ad are stories of control, violence and sexual abuse that women have told staff many times over, she added.
"Man up is also putting the warped rationale of men who abuse out in the open," said Ms O'Halloran.