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Joint appeal issued to support victims of domestic abuse

Seven organisations have come together as reports increase during Covid-19 restrictions

A side effect of Covid-19 has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse which has meant a surge in demand for support from people experiencing such abuse. Photograph: iStock

Seven organisations have come together to support people who have suffered domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

CRiTiCall (Community Response Team Call) is a new initiative involving St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin, Safe Ireland, Dublin City Volunteer Centre, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Volunteer Centre, Fingal Volunteer Centre, South Dublin County Volunteer Centre and Wicklow Volunteer Centre.

They have issued a joint appeal for donations; for people to volunteer a holiday home or second property as a safe haven; and for letters of courage and hope to be sent to those emerging from domestic abuse.

A side effect of Covid-19 has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse which has meant a surge in demand for support from people experiencing such abuse.

Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral William Morton said: “It is very difficult to contemplate the challenge that this presents for people who live with those who are the source of fear, violence and abuse. At this time, in this crisis, we reach out to extend ourselves to those who are living in such dire circumstances to do what we can,” he said.

Kelley Bermingham, community officer with St Patrick’s Cathedral, noted that gardaí had recorded “a 25 per cent increase in reports of domestic abuse compared to the same period last year.”

She said “we want to ensure that when people are ready to make the courageous step to leave an abusive situation that we have every resource to hand to support them.”

Supt Michael McNulty of Kevin St Garda Station said he supported CRiTiCaLL in what was “a fantastic initiative” while Dublin Lord Mayor Tom Brabazon has also lent his support.

Offers of support can be made to Kelley Bermingham at St Patrick’s Cathedral and/or Lisa Marmion, services development manager of SAFE Ireland.