There were four times as many sexual offence incidents in a domestic situation recorded in 2021 compared with 2020 after gardaí updated their systems to define the relationship between offender and victim.
In 2020, 205 such incidents were recorded on the PULSE system. However when the new field was added to the system last July that number rose to 817 in 2021.
The stark statistics are contained in a new Garda report launched this morning on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, sourced from official data and reports contained on the force’s PULSE system.
Nine out of every 10 females who were either murdered or died by manslaughter over the past three years had suffered domestic abuse.
Meanwhile, 43% of all female victims who had suffered attempts on their lives or assaults over the same time period had also been the victim of domestic abuse.
In terms of violence against victims, females are far more likely to know the offender — that was the case for 84% of female victims last year versus just 61% of males.
Gardaí said the report will form an evidence base for their operational policies going forward.
The study found that while male victims also suffer domestic abuse, they are more likely to be subjected to violence by people unknown to them, and in incidents not related to their domestic situation.
Just 11% of incidents of violent acts towards male victims had domestic abuse as a motive, it found.
The study, which stretches back to 2013 in terms of documenting longer-term trends regarding domestic and gender-based violence, found that 2021 — the most recent year studied — was the only year in which there were more murder, manslaughter and infanticide incidents relating to domestic abuse than for any other motive.
Whether a crime is more likely to be committed in a residential or a non-residential location depends upon the incident type, the report said.
While most, 64%, of sexual offences occurred in residential locations in 2021, attempts or threats to murder, assaults and incidents of harassment occurred most regularly in non-domestic settings.
Homicides in particular tend to be committed outside the home, with 7 in 10 such incidents happening in non-residential areas last year.
Separately, blackmail and extortion incidents involving sexual exploitation have increased markedly in volume in recent years, the study said, with more than 80% of them involving male victims, while just under a third of all such victims were young males aged between 18 and 24.