Domestic violence services had one call every 12 minutes

Safe Ireland’s ‘Man Up’ campaign highlights role men can play in ending violence

Domestic violence services answered over 46,100 helpline calls last year or about one call every 12 minutes, according to statistics released today by Safe Ireland. File photograph.

Domestic violence services answered over 46,100 helpline calls last year or about one call every 12 minutes, according to statistics released today by Safe Ireland. File photograph.

 

Domestic violence services answered over 46,100 helpline calls last year or about one call every 12 minutes, according to statistics released today by Safe Ireland.

Nearly 11,500 women and children received support from domestic violence services in 2013, show figures from the body which is the national office for the prevention of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

Emergency refuges in the State accommodated and/or provided supports to 1,769 women and 2,699 children. Some 6,187 women received non-accommodation supports, including advocacy, court accompaniment and counselling.

Almost 3,500 requests for emergency accommodation were refused last year because the refuge was full. Safe Ireland chief executive Sharon O’Halloran, said the number of victims seeking refuge has not varied widely since 2011 because refuges are operating at full capacity.

The statistics were released today as part of Safe Ireland’s ‘Man Up’ campaign, which aims to highlight the positive role men can play in ending domestic violence.

The campaign asks men to stand up against domestic violence and to challenge abuse.It is supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the National Women’s Council of Ireland. It is funded by Cosc, the national office for the prevention of domestic violence, which has allocated €100,000 to the project.

“The statistics are shocking again this year. But there comes a point when shocking has to mean something and be taken seriously,” Ms O’Halloran said.

“We cannot begin to bring these horrendous statistics down without the involvement of everyone in society, including men,” she said. “We need leadership in this country around this issue”.

White House advisor for violence against women Lynn Rosenthal was the keynote speaker at the release. Ms Rosenthal said she admired Ireland for tackling gender roles so squarely and said men have a “moral responsibility to speak out” against domestic violence.

Safe Ireland is teaming up with the US-based National Network to End Domestic Violence “to make the United States and Ireland the safest places for women and children in the world”, Ms Rosenthal said.

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy also spoke at the event. He said almost 3,500 requests for emergency accommodation that were refused last year because the refuge was full was “biblical”, adding it was like being told there was “no room at the inn”. “We need to keep the lights on metaphorically and physically,” he said. “Our relationship in this country with children and women has not been good,” he said.

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