While some publicity was given to the headline finding that 15% of women and 6% of men suffer severe domestic abuse, there were other interesting findings:
- 29% of women and 26% of men suffer domestic abuse, when severe and minor abuse are combined;
- 13% of women and 13% of men suffer physical abuse;
- 29% of women and only 5% of men report to the gardaí;
- 49% of admissions to women’s refuges are Travellers (according to the 2002 census, Travellers account for just 0.6% of the population);
- Of those turned away from refuges, 46% were for reasons other than the refuges being full.
The results relating to gender prevalence broadly reflect the findings of the three other dual gender studies carried out in this country (for ACCORD, MRCS and the Department of Health).
According to the Departments of Health and Justice, which have responsibilities in this area, the NCC study is the definitive research on domestic violence in Ireland.
Since Amen was set up in 1997, every dual gender study has vindicated its position that a significant number of men are also victims of domestic abuse. Yet, less than 1% of Government funding for victims of domestic violence is given to provide services for male victims. It is imperative, therefore, that a substantial and immediate increase in funding for services for male victims is one of the Government’s priorities in responding to this research.
Mary T Cleary
St Anne’s Resource Centre