Home > Women's Aid annual impact report 2020.

Women's Aid. (2021) Women's Aid annual impact report 2020. Dublin: Women's Aid.

PDF (Women's Aid annual impact report 2020) - Published Version

External website: https://www.womensaid.ie/assets/files/pdf/womens_a...

During contacts with our 24hr National Freephone Helpline, women disclosed high levels of emotional, physical, sexual and economic abuse from their partners, in some cases as a direct result of the lockdown introduced to stop the spread of the virus. Women told us that they had been strangled, raped and beaten by abusive partners as well as feeling constantly monitored in their homes.

Women told us that their partners were using the lockdown restrictions as an excuse not to leave after they had been violent. When abusers couldn’t get access to their families, they shifted to digitally abusing women through messages, phone calls and video calls. The mental health impacts of domestic abuse for women have also been heightened due to restrictions, with some women reporting suicidal thoughts.

For women who had experienced abuse in the past, the restrictions that the Government placed on movement prompted painful memories of being abused and controlled. Women with underlying health issues reported that their partners were not adhering to Covid-19 restrictions deliberately, and some were effectively weaponising the virus by coughing or spitting on women. Women’s Aid adapted quickly to the changing situation in order to keep staff safe and meet the demand of increased contacts from women experiencing domestic abuse. We worked hard to ensure not only that our services met the growing demand brought on by the pandemic but that domestic violence was recognised as a key issue that effects thousands of women and children across Ireland every day. The Covid-19 pandemic brought the issue to the fore. However, the levels of violence exposed are an everyday reality for so many women and children.

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