Gardaí say there has been a 25% increase in criminal charges for breaches of domestic violence court orders to over 4,000 last year.

Provisional figures released tonight for 2020 also show more than 7,600 criminal charges have been preferred in cases of domestic abuse, an increase of 24%.

Gardaí also say they received 43,000 calls for help last year, an increase of 16%.

Three people were convicted of the offence of coercive control last year, including Daniel Kane who was jailed last week for ten and a half years.

The gardaí also say that Operation Faoiseamh which was set up last April to provide proactive support for victims has resulted in over 23,000 (23,785) contacts or attempted contacts being made with victims of domestic violence.

The officer in charge of the Garda's Protective Services Bureau has again appealed to victims or anyone who knows of a victim of domestic abuse to contact gardaí.

Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly has stressed that even though the country is at Level 5, Covid-19 travel restrictions do not apply to people seeking help or to escape harm.

He also says that it is An Garda Síochána's policy that following a report of such an incident each victim is contacted within seven days.