The Government has moved to reassure victims of domestic violence that services of the State remain available to them.

Liz Canavan, Assistant Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach, said the 2km travel restriction did not apply to people trying to escape domestic abuse.

At this morning's briefing, Ms Canavan said at a time when people are asked to stay at home, the Government is conscious it may not be a safe place for some people.

She added that gardaí have been asked to prioritise suspected instances of domestic abuse, and that other frontline services remain available to potential victims.

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan launched a campaign this morning to ensure victims are aware of what services are available.

From next week new television and radio adverts will be aired, which will reflect the particular issues raised for some by the need to stay at home.

Minister Flanagan said: "This is a really important campaign. At a time when we have all been told to stay at home, I am very conscious that for victims of domestic abuse, home can be anything but a safe place.

"That is why I want victims to know that they will continue to receive the highest priority from the civil and criminal justice system throughout this crisis. I want perpetrators to know that too."

Meanwhile, the demand for Childline has continued to grow since restrictions were put in place, according to the Director of Services with the ISPCC.

Last month the charity reported a surge in calls after schools were closed and restrictions were imposed on gatherings.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Damien O'Reilly, Caroline O'Sullivan of the ISPCC said the demand has continued to grow, but has now been more focused on the organisation's text and live messaging services.

She said this is because children want their conversations to remain private and some children are living in fear of something happening in the home.

She said while abuse may not be happening 24 hours a day, some children are living in fear that they or a sibling will say or do something that may lead to an incident.

"The reality is these restrictions which have been put in place for very good reason are exacerbating the abuse scenarios that some children are living in. If you take a child that lives in a domestic violence situation, they are living in that now 24 hours a day."

Ms O'Sullivan said that the amount of alcohol being drank in homes is leading to an increase similar to that seen around the Christmas period.

The Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance said the restrictions are increasing pressure on already vulnerable families and children.

Speaking on the same programme, Tanya Ward said that a lot of child safety plans are dependent on children having contact with professionals like teachers, public health nurses and youth workers who can see if something is wrong.

She said this has had a knock-on effect on the amount of child protection referrals being made.

Ms Ward said a lot of social workers are stilling meeting families, and charities and support organisations are still working with vulnerable people, but not at the same levels.

She also said that the restrictions imposed by the Government are leading to an increase in "toxic stress" in homes as families approach "breaking point".

Ms Ward said that they need to look at how to support these families in the future.

Meanwhile, a project leader with Barnardos in Cork has said she is really concerned about children living in emergency accommodation during the period of restrictions.

Roisin McDaid said parents are reporting children in those situations "really struggling" as they are confined to hotel rooms.

She said this is having an impact on their ability to access academic work.

"They can't find a quiet space to do that and open a book," she said.

Reporting Aisling Kenny, Peter Farrell