Domestic violence incidents likely to rise due to coronavirus, says Women's Aid
"For thousands of women and children across Ireland, home is a place of violence and fear."
Domestic violence incidents are likely to rise in Ireland due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Women's Aid have expressed concern for women and children who may be more at risk of domestic abuse since the pandemic began.
The charity has concerns that self isolation and job losses brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak will trigger far more instances of violence in the home.
“It’s true that for many of us home is a place of safety in a time uncertainty," says Women's Aid CEO Sarah Benson.
"But for thousands of women and children across Ireland, home is a place of violence and fear. It is important to remember that workplaces and schools often offer sanctuary for victims of domestic violence."
Benson points to job losses, working from home, and self isolation as results of the outbreak that are already impacting on victims of domestic violence around the country.
She says that a person's abuser being home more, or being home all the time, can be a "frightening" development.
"Many women and children will spend the next few weeks in suffocating circumstances with their abusers because of the measures to combat Covid-19," she says.
"There are women trapped inside with their abuser who are using this opportunity to further his control."
Benson says that the Women's Aid hotline has already received calls from people at a heightened state of alert and anxiety due to the outbreak.
"There is a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances which could see an increase in the number and the severity of incidents of domestic abuse," she says.
"The current crisis will also bring increased financial hardship for families in these circumstances and is also reducing options for victims to be able to leave dangerous situations."
If you have been affected by any of the details in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid's 24hr National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900.
You can find out more about safety planning and guidance for family and friend supporting a person experiencing domestic violence here.