Tuesday 20 March 2018

Reports of abuse to charity up by 5,000

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Mothers and children being threatened with murder-suicide and children being targeted in a bid to threaten their mother were among the instances of abuse reported to Women's Aid in 2016.

According to the charity's annual report, 16,974 disclosures of domestic violence were reported by callers to its helpline or users of its service.

A further 3,823 disclosures of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, were made to the helpline.

The service answered almost 5,000 additional calls last year - its first year operating a 24/7 helpline.

The frequency of child abuse and children being exposed to domestic violence at home means the charity is now calling for a review of how custody of the children of violent men is handled by the legal system.

Margaret Martin, director of Women's Aid, outlined some of the details of various types of violence reported to the helpline, which included:

  • Women being hit, beaten with weapons, stabbed and cut with knives and strangled;
  • Women being beaten and strangled while they were pregnant;
  • Women being raped or coerced into sex;
  • Women who had explicit videos of them made and shared online without their consent.

"We also met with just over 1,000 women in our Dublin based one-to-one support services," she said. "During these contacts women revealed horrific abuse by their partners.

Irish Independent

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