Megan Sarl said restrictions have meant that some children have been exposed to witnessing domestic abuse for the first time.
“There have been a lot of ‘firsts’ for the children who call us. Many of these firsts have been terrifying,” she said.
“With the pubs closed kids are seeing their parents drinking at home and are witnessing domestic abuse first hand. Before that, they might have seen a parent with a bruise but failed to connect the two.”
Ms Sarl described the trauma of hearing domestic abuse during a phone call.
“Hearing a scream in the background when you’re taking a call from a child or the slam of a door never gets easier,” she said. “These are the harder calls because you know there is something going on in the house at that moment. Sometimes a child will call us from under a sheet or a wardrobe because they desperately need a place to hide. If kids want the help we will give it to them and contact gardaí. However, much of the time they are terrified that their families will be split up.”
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