The housing crisis is worsening the impact of domestic violence on women and children, according to new research. 

A study carried out by Tusla and homeless charity Good Shepherd Cork found that women who left their homes because of violence were often unable to find alternative accommodation, and were forced to return to violent abusers.
The qualitative study involved interviews with 30 participants. 

It found that homelessness and domestic violence were intrinsically linked, with a third of the women interviewed stating that they became homeless as a result of domestic violence.

One of the women interviewed by RTÉ's This Week said she became homeless with her children after being repeatedly attacked by her ex-partner.
"The most severe thing he did to me was try to strangle me in the bath. He dragged me from the bottom floor to the top and put me in the bath and tried to strangle me," she said. 
"There was one time when he threw a cigarette box, which hit me in the centre of the eye and caused my pupil to bleed.

"Another time he injured my coccyx bone and I was disabled for six months.

"He also threw a brush at me and cut my head.
"It was just non-stop, he dealt with his emotions through violence and verbal abuse". 
She said she was placed in hotel accommodation, which was unsuitable for her young children.

"There were people using heroin in the room beside us, and there were people addicted to alcohol in the room on the other side.

"We were very vulnerable so it was in our best interests to stay on the street until bedtime.
"We would roam the streets, or hang out in the park ... the city was our home", she said.
The woman eventually took shelter at Edel House, which provides accommodation and services for women and children. It is run by Good Shepherd Cork.
Almost half of the women interviewed for the study said they returned to live in an abusive situation due to homelessness, or to keep their children in a home. 
The research also found that many children who grow up in a family where there is domestic violence are very likely to go on to experience violence in their adult life. 
Researchers said there was a "catastrophic cycle of abuse" passing from one generation to the next.
Manager of Edel House Colette Foster said staff at the centre are now witnessing children who were made homeless at the beginning of the current crisis returning to homelessness as adults.
"We've actually had our first child from the current homeless crisis return with her own two children", said Ms Foster. 
The charity said the research shows there is a requirement not just to tackle the immediate need for shelter, but also to invest in one-to-one supports to help those in need.
Chief Executive of Good Shepherd Cork Allison Aldred said "investing the time and resources in breaking the cycle is key.
"Failure to support and invest in today today's generation of children experiencing violence and homelessness will perpetuate these experiences over their lifetimes, and those of their children", she said.
If you are affected by this story you can contact Women's Aid on 1800 341 900.

Or visit the RTÉ Helplines webpage.