A new report from the national Crime Victims Helpline (CVH) has detailed an increase in contacts in 2020 compared to 2019.
The helpline has reported that domestic-violence related contacts increased significantly by 135% compared to the previous year.
Michele Puckhaber, Executive Director of CVH, said the increase was no surprise.
“The significant negative impact Covid restrictions had on people living with domestic violence has been well documented by domestic violence charities,” Ms Puckhaber said.
“Therefore, it is no surprise that Crime Victims Helpline contacts about domestic-violence-related crimes increased so significantly in 2020.
“The range of crimes impacting these victims was wide and included harassment, stalking, coercive control, threats to kill and assault.”
As well as an increase in calls relating to domestic violence, CVH also experienced an over all 15 per cent increase in calls compared to 2019.
In 2020 CVH recorded over 5,170 contacts over the free helpline 116 006, text, email, and post.
“The increase in contacts was particularly significant when considering the decrease in reported crime in 2020,” Ms Puckhaber said.
“Not only were we contacted by more people, calls on the helpline got longer and more intense.
“Many of our callers were suffering in isolation, separated from family and friends and without the usual activities of daily life for distraction.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email email@example.com) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email firstname.lastname@example.org) for support and information.
Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/.
In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.