Sarah Benson, chief executive of Women’s Aid, has welcomed new detailed data on domestic violence, which she says will allow 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.
He said that working to prevent gender-based violence also aims to protect men. The experience of crime differed between men and women with women more likely to know their perpetrator.
Ms Benson said Women’s Aid had been working for 50 years, during which time she had seen a “sea change” and cultural change in how gardaí responded to domestic violence. This change was very welcome and there was now an openness to engage with specialized services such as women’s support. It has enhanced the service and made it more victim centric.
He explained how the process of how a case progresses from the actual incident to court has evolved. This was as a result of the developing relationship between support services, the DPP and the gardaí.
Women’s Aid had long been seeking important data like the one released today, he added.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Rape Crisis Center (DRCC) welcomed the report, saying the information “gives a clearer understanding of who is committing such crimes as well as victims reporting them, and thus better and how to offer more targeted services and support”. .
Nolyn Blackwell, DRCC chief executive officer, said the statistics are consistent with DRCC’s experience on several points. “Garda data shows the link between domestic abuse and women experiencing sexual and other forms of violence, and that sexual violence can occur within a wider pattern of domestic abuse. This is something we hear regularly, especially from callers to the National Helpline.
“We also note that incidents of reported sexual offenses with the intent of domestic abuse increased by more than a quarter of all sexual offenses that year. We believe that this information will be of great help in identifying vulnerable individuals and ensuring that they can access key support in a timely manner, particularly for victims of domestic or intimate partner abuse who require specialist sexual violence services. Need to access