Domestic support service Aoibhneas sees 57% rise in support given

Domestic support service Aoibhneas sees 57% rise in support given

Domestic abuse support service for women and children, Aoibhneas, has reported an increase of 57% in support for those it helps.

A total of 1,266 women and children, or 635 families, were supported last year- a 57% increase on 2017 figures.

The organisation's annual report showed 88% of women who presented disclosed some form of emotional abuse and 74% disclosed a form of physical abuse.

Domestic support service Aoibhneas sees 57% rise in support given

Financial abuse was disclosed by 44% of those who presented, which can entail being denied access to household finances for food, rent and household utilities.

The organisation said digital abuse was disclosed by 15% and while it is a newer but growing mechanism through which control can be exerted, with cases including confiscating and searching through devices.

CEO of Aoibhneas Emma Reidy said last year was a challenging year as the service continued to be impacted by the homelessness crisis:

Women and children who experience domestic abuse remain in danger as at times, they are left with little option but to return to their abuser.

"In light of this week’s budget, we are pleased to see extra allocation of funding to homeless services however domestic violence services should be no longer precluded from accessing this funding.

"Specialist services require funding to offer women and children who experience domestic abuse access to accommodation where they can access specialised care and support.

"Housing and homeless services that provide mainstream support should not be exclusively resourced to do the work service providers like Aoibhneas are equipped and skilled to do.

"We also call on our core funder Tusla to consider the hundreds of children we support every year and in doing so resource us adequately."

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