Women’s Aid chief executive Sarah Benson has welcomed detailed new figures on domestic violence which she says will enable the service to be as effective as possible.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Ms Benson said behind the figures were women, men and children who had been victims of horrific crimes.
Gender-based violence prevention work also aimed to protect men, she said. The experience of crime was different between men and women, with women being more likely to know their attacker.
Women’s Aid has been operating for 50 years, Ms Benson said, during which time they had noticed “a sea change” and a cultural shift in the way gardaí responded to domestic violence. This change was very welcome and there was now an openness to engage with specialist services such as Women’s Aid. This has improved the service and made it more victim-focused.
The process of progressing a case from the initial incident through to court has evolved, she explained. This was the result of the development of the relationship between the support services, the DPP and the gardaí.
Women’s Aid had long been calling for important data like the ones released today, she added.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Rape Crisis Center (DRCC) welcomed the report and said the information provides “a clearer understanding of who is committing such crimes as well as the victims who report them, and therefore how to deliver services and supports.” better and more targeted”. .
Noeline Blackwell, DRCC’s chief executive, said the statistics match DRCC’s experience on a number of counts. “Garda data shows a link between female victims of domestic and sexual violence as well as other types of violence, and that sexual violence can occur within a larger pattern of domestic violence. This is something we hear regularly, especially from callers to the national helpline.
“We also note the sharp increase in the incidence of reported sexual offense incidents with a pattern of domestic violence to just over a quarter of all sexual offenses that year. We believe this information will be very helpful in identifying vulnerable people and ensuring that they can access key supports in a timely manner, especially for victims of domestic or intimate partner violence who need to access specialist support services. sexual violence.