1,700 women who were victims of domestic abuse were turned away from refuges because of a lack of facilities last year.
Safe Ireland, which works to create support services and a safe place for women and children, said it has seen an increase in demand for its services.
There has been a 21% increase in demand for its services between 2007 and 2008 mainly due to the impact of the economic downturn.
Safe Ireland said the recession has led to an increase in abuse.
It carried out a study on one day in 2008. On that day 263 women and 216 children were accommodated or received support from a domestic violence service.
Safe Ireland’s Dr Sarah Morton said women seeking support are in need of safety and also need changes in their lives to escape the cycle of violence.
On 4 November 2008, when the snapshot study was conducted, 263 women were accommodated while six were turned away because there was not enough space.
Safe Ireland said at the very least it needs to maintain the level of service it is providing despite the economic downturn.
97% of women leaving refuges say they feel safer and a similar number claim to be better able to get what they need for them and their children.