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Domestic violence: Over 2,000 children taken to emergency refuges last year

Services across Ireland answered 46,137 helpline calls in 2013 — or 126 calls each day.

ANNUAL FIGURES RELEASED by SAFE Ireland, the national organisation of domestic violence services, show that at least 8,033 women and 3,424 children received support last year.

Services across Ireland answered 46,137 helpline calls in 2013 — or 126 calls each day.

The annual figures also show that 1,769 individual women and 2,699 children were accommodated in or received supports in an emergency refuge last year.

CEO of SAFE Ireland Sharon O’Halloran noted that the numbers seeking refuge haven’t varied hugely since 2011 because refuges are operating at full capacity.

“The statistics are shocking again this year,” O’Halloran said.

“But there comes a point when shocking has to mean something, when shocking has to be taken seriously.

Our services are operating beyond their capacity. They have been for years.

“In order to support these women and the women we know we are not hearing from we need additional capacity across all our services as the start of a transformative and meaningful response to women and children.”

O’Halloran said that SAFE Ireland welcomed last week’s comprehensive Justice Committee Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence, including recommendations to strengthen protection for victims of domestic violence.

Read: Should domestic violence be treated more seriously than public assault?

Also: Asylum working group criticised for including only one (former) asylum-seeker

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