With Gardaí reporting a 20% increase in the number of domestic violence cases, a local service is reminding those in need that they’re still available.

A new website, stillhere.ie, and an awareness campaign have now been launched nationally.

Ascend, based in North Tipperary, say they welcome this move as it comes at a critical time when many people might feel trapped in abusive situations because of the lockdown.

Speaking on Tipp Today,  Kathleen Maher from Ascend says there needs to be a community response to this as well:

“They may not have access to phones, they may not be able to ring to get help. You know, [some people ask] “why doesn’t she just leave and walk out?” She may not be able to do that.

“So, if you do see anyone in distress, call the Gardaí. Don’t hesitate to call 999. If you know a friend who you may fear may be in an abusive situation – check in on them and see how they’re doing.”

Ascend in North Tipperary and Cuan Saor women’s refuge in Clonmel realise that for many living with abusive partners that this may become an even more difficult time.

Kathleen Maher says that they are expecting an increase in domestic violence as a result of the current situation:

“It’s a frightening time for people, especially in terms of domestic abuse. There is a thought around it that domestic violence will increase in times of quarantine and lock-down.

“In China, in the Hubei province, domestic violence cases reported to local police tripled after people were in quarantine in January due to the virus.

“We’re expecting to be busier.

“But also it’s a time of economic hardship. There’s thousands of jobs at risk so it’s a very uncertain time.”

Ascend can be contacted on 0505 23999 while Cuan Saor’s 24 hour helpline is on 1800 57 67 57.


To listen to Kathleen speaking to Fran Curry, please click below…