Domestic abuse is 'dismissed' by system
A victim of domestic abuse has told of the devastating impact violence has had on her life and that of her children, even 10 years after she managed to leave her abusive partner.
The woman, who declined to be named, said that while she has managed to gain an education and a home in the decade that followed 12 years of terror in her own home, she still remains in a poverty trap from which she struggles to escape.
She and her children are still in counselling because of the abuse, which finally ended when she fled her home when she was six weeks pregnant with her third child.
She was speaking as a new report shone a light on how the Irish legal system is failing women and children living with the devastation of domestic violence and abuse.
The research, carried out by Simone George for SAFE Ireland, shows that the different layers of the justice system, from the gardaí to judges, often fail to give each woman the time and attention necessary to properly analyse her case.
Over 8,000 women and some 3,500 children seek assistance for domestic violence every year.
Sharon O'Halloran, CEO of SAFE Ireland, called for a change in culture so that domestic violence is treated seriously by everyone.