Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has said the government must do more to ensure victims of domestic abuse can access support services.
Figures released to the Dublin Mid West TD through a parliamentary question show an increase in the number of reported domestic abuse incidents this year, compared to previous years.
In Dublin Metropolitan Western Region, a total of 784 domestic abuse incidents have been reported so far this year, an increase from 674 last year.
Teachta Ward said:
“Domestic abuse is never acceptable and we all have a responsibility to send the clear message that it has no place in our society.
“I am deeply concerned by the figures suggesting high levels of domestic abuse reported within this constituency and across the country. Sadly, it shows that this crime continues to be all too common and is at epidemic levels.
“It is notable that while the majority of victims of the crime are female, 151 are male. This serves as a reminder that domestic abuse can affect men as well as women.
“Those working in the sector have warned that during lockdown restrictions, many people experiencing domestic abuse will have been subjected to further violence while trapped at home with an abuser.
“The government must do more to ensure that victims leaving an abusive relationship have adequate support. Safe Ireland has warned that on average, seven women and children per day were turned away from refuges during the pandemic due to lack of space.
“This is totally unacceptable. Leaving an abusive relationship is an extremely difficult and challenging thing to do and all victims deserve to get the support they need.
“The government must ensure that there are sufficient support services and refuge places in Dublin Mid West and across Ireland. Victims of domestic abuse deserve to be believed and supported. No one who seeks help should ever be turned away.”