Over 3,500 cases of child abuse recorded by charity last year 4 years ago

Over 3,500 cases of child abuse recorded by charity last year

Almost 20,000 reports of domestic abuse against women and children were filed last year.

Women's Aid received 15,833 disclosures of violence against women and 3,552 reports of child abuse in 2017.

Most of the reports (over 10,000) concerned emotional abuse, while just over 3,500 concerned physical abuse against the woman or the child.

There were also 600 cases of sexual abuse recorded.

Women's Aid's latest impact report has shown that domestic violence is still very much prevalent in Irish society.

The domestic abuse charity has said that thousands of women have shared their stories with Women's Aid over the year, detailing the "horrific sexual, financial, physical, and emotional abuse" they have experienced.

Abortion

This year's report aims to highlight the many reasons why abuse victims feel they cannot leave their partners.

Women's Aid director Margaret Martin said that although ending a relationship does not always signal the end of abuse, there are still many barriers faced by victims who are trying to leave.

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She said:

"Women have told us that going through the process of leaving and seeking support can feel like a game of ‘snakes and ladders’.

"Barriers include: fear of the perpetrator, lack of protection for them and their children, lack of emotional support, no financial resources and having no place to go.

"Women are often scared that leaving a violent perpetrator may put them and their children at increased risk of retaliation and violence, and with good reason."

Martin went on to say that leaving is often a risk factor associated with increased violence.

She told Morning Ireland that many women opt to sleep in their cars or in their friends' homes because they have nowhere else to go.

She said:

"It was one of the biggest blocks to women leaving, that there was no place to go. And that is so evident at the moment. Women would say to us that they're sleeping in their cars, they're sleeping on the floors of friends' houses.

"So there's a huge issue in terms of the housing crisis impacting on people who are in abusive relationships, not being able to leave."

You can contact Women's Aid here.