The director of an agency that deals with domestic violence has said that domestic violence figures are horrific and a sad indictment of Irish society.

Director of SAFE Ireland Sharon O'Halloran said domestic abuse was the most under-reported, undocumented and unprosecuted crime in the country.

A report by SAFE suggests that over 11,000 women and children received support from domestic violence services last year.

Safe Ireland, an umbrella organisation for over 40 service providers, says that women were turned away by services over 2,500 times because there was no room for them at refuges.

Nearly 8,000 women and over 3,000 children sought safety from domestic violence in 2011.

This figure shows a 15% increase on the previous year.

Just short of 4,000 people were admitted to refuge, including over 2,000 individual children.

Demand increased by 68% for women looking for counselling, advocacy or someone to accompany them to court.