Domestic violence leaving women, children homeless

Tuesday 10 June 2014 16.42
The number of women who are trying to access services is described as 'shocking'
The number of women who are trying to access services is described as 'shocking'

A study by SAFE Ireland has found that on one day last year 700 women and children were homeless or at risk of homelessness because their homes were not safe.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland SAFE Ireland's Chief Executive Sharon O'Halloran described the number of women who are trying to access their services as shocking.

Ms O'Halloran was speaking as figures from a census carried out by the organisation, which represents frontline domestic services, found that 467 women and 229 children were homeless or risk of homelessness because their homes were not safe in the course of just one day last year.

The figures are the result of a census carried out by SAFE Ireland on 5 November 2013 when on that day 115 women and 155 children were accommodated in refuges.

A further 16 women could not be admitted because there was not enough space and 24 women were pregnant.

Over the 24 hours, there were 109 helpline calls – nearly five calls an hour.

Ms O'Halloran said around 70% of Irish women who experience domestic violence are not reporting it to authorities.

"There's a new EU-wide study that has been carried out recently and what it is saying is 70% of Irish women who experience serious violence do not tell anybody", Ms O’Halloran said.

“So we are dealing with severe under-reporting in this country so our figures really are just the tip of the iceberg", she said.