Service interventions for children by Aoibhneas, a charity which supports women and children subject to domestic violence, rose by 324% last year.

They included more than 4,000 one-to-one emotional practical support sessions, breakfast clubs and therapeutic play.

The figures reflect the end of Covid-19 restrictions, however, its latest annual report points out the need for increased specialist supports for children to address the escalation of domestic abuse they experienced during the pandemic.

In 2021, 85% of Aoibhneas' clients reported experiencing physical abuse, with 49 presenting to the refuge with injuries ranging from concussion/head trauma to broken, dislocated and fractured bones, choking, bruising and cuts, dental injuries, strains, and sprains.

Many clients disclosed more than one type of abuse with 70% reporting financial abuse. 96% of their clients disclosed experiencing emotional abuse or coercive control.

Last year, according to the report, 36% of women supported by Aoibhneas identified their perpetrator as a current spouse, partner or boyfriend.

46% of women disclosed an ex-spouse, ex-partner or ex-boyfriend.

These figures, according to the charity, suggest that intimate partner relationships represent the majority of cases whereby domestic abuse gets perpetrated.

The report also points out that 10% of clients disclosed that their abuser was a family member.

It says that this represents "an increasing trend" of adult child to parent violence.

In recent years, Aoibhneas associates this as a feature of the housing crisis, whereby more adult children are remaining in or are returning to the family home.

"We have also seen increased cases of child to parent abuse when an adult child is acting also as the parents' caregiver," it states.

The report also shows that the organisation's helpline, which moved to freephone last year, answered and "worked through" 9,878 calls, which was a 9% increase on the 2020 figure.

Chairperson of Aoibhneas Melanie Farrell described the figures in the report as a "stark reminder of the ongoing impact of domestic abuse".

Its CEO Emma Reidy expressed particular concern over the disproportionate impact that the cost of living and energy crisis is having on the most vulnerable clients.

She said there had already been a notable increase families experiencing domestic abuse who are in poverty, seeking immediate financial relief from the charity.

If you have been affected by the issues in this report, support is available. Click for helplines