Gardaí announce Operation Faoisimh to ensure victims of domestic abuse are supported during crisis

Gardaí have recorded a year on year increase of around 16% in the reporting of domestic abuse incidents between 2019 and 2020.
Gardaí announce Operation Faoisimh to ensure victims of domestic abuse are supported during crisis

Gardaí have recorded a year on year increase of around 16% in the reporting of domestic abuse incidents between 2019 and 2020.

However, gardaí say they have not recorded a significant increase since the introduction of the Covid-19 public health measures.

The gardaí said in a statement that the force "recognises the increase in anxiety and fear felt by those who may be victims of domestic abuse during this period of Public Health Measures to combat Covid-19."

Gardaí moved to reassure victims that "domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, will continue to receive highest priority response for service.

"The restructuring of An Garda Síochána ensures that there are more Gardaí than ever on our streets and in our communities around the country and we are ready to assist and protect victims of domestic abuse."

The statement added: "A great deal of work and planning has gone into maintaining our business continuity and to date that plan is robustly holding firm.

"Frontline gardaí, Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) and Divisional Protective Service Units (DPSU) are all resources available to respond to these crimes."

Gardaí said they are implementing Operation Faoisimh which will commence as part of the community engagement response to Covid-19.

It is designed to ensure victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected in this extraordinary time.

“The initiative will utilise the Garda Victim Services Offices nationwide to facilitate phone contact with previous victims of domestic abuse to ascertain any existing issues of concern and to ensure the protection of families,” said a statement.

“Any concerns will be immediately responded to by An Garda Síochána.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau said:

"I am conscious and aware that victims of Domestic Abuse can feel afraid and concerned at this time and I wish to assure those experiencing such abuse that An Garda Síochána are available and willing to assist you in this difficult time.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has not diminished our service and we are committed to your protection.

“If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and I ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána.

“If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect.”

Mr Daly told RTÉ radio that when people report domestic abuse or any type of crime, officers will respond “very quickly and robustly”.

Mr Daly said Victim Service Offices are contacting each victim to ensure their safety and protection.

“If they look for or need assistance, An Garda Siochana will be there for them,” he said.

“We have the highest ever number of staff on the ground, so we’re anxious and eager to assist all of our victims.

He added: “The current crisis brings many fears and anxieties for families throughout the country, we all understand that. For victims of domestic violence those fears are doubled.

“As part of our community response to Covid-19, we’re implementing Operation Faoisimh, which is an initiative to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected.”

- additional reporting by Press Association

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