22 Pregnant Women Looked for Safety from Violence on Just One Day

Jun 20, 2013 Comments Off on 22 Pregnant Women Looked for Safety from Violence on Just One Day by

On just one day in Ireland – November 6, 2012 – 537 women and 311 children were accommodated and/or received support from a domestic violence service, SAFE Ireland revealed today when it published its national, annual one-day census.

On-Just-One-Day-2012-CoverAmong these there were 22 pregnant women, a finding that SAFE Ireland says is particularly alarming, but which highlights that domestic violence is a daily threat for women of all ages and at all life stages.

The census also shows that 40 women accessing domestic violence services on that day were over the age of 56, with 14 over the age of 65. The majority – 346 women – were aged between 26 and 45, with 65 young women aged between 16 and 25 also looking for support. A total of 117 women and 152 children were accommodated in refuge and 21 women could not be accommodated because there wasn’t enough space.

“Sadly pregnancy offers no protection from domestic violence,” said Sharon O’Halloran, CEO of SAFE Ireland. “Our services regularly work with women who are beaten and raped during pregnancy, sometimes resulting in miscarriage. One woman told us how she was beaten so badly that her baby was born with two black eyes. And still we, as a country and as a society, don’t take this seriously.”

She said that the state and society must recognise domestic violence as the life-threatening crime it is. Too often, the state response to women in critical areas like justice, housing or health is “nothing short of appalling, often leaving women disbelieved, frustrated and with no choice but to remain in unsafe homes,” she said.

“For the 537 women accessing our services on that one day there were at least 537 men living in our communities who were raping, beating, bullying, intimidating and abusing women,” O’Halloran continued. ” This is not just couples “having a domestic”. This is a crime that injures, scars, kills, intimidates, controls. This is deadly serious and must be taken seriously.

International research has found that 25% of women who experience domestic violence are abused for the first time when they become pregnant. The Rotunda Hospital conducted research in 2000, which found that 1 in 8 women in Ireland surveyed were being abused during their current pregnancy.

The 2012 census was SAFE Ireland’s fifth one-day census. It took place on the same day as the 2012 US Presidential Election when Barack Obama was re-elected. The first SAFE Ireland one-day census took place on the 4th of November 2008, the day that Barack Obama was first elected as US President.

The one-day census is a 24-hour snapshot of the magnitude of domestic violence in Ireland and the level of support currently being provided by SAFE Ireland members. The figures were collated by 37 of 39 domestic violence services across the country.

One Day in November 2012

  • 537 women and 311 children were accommodated and/or received support from a domestic violence service.
  • 115 Helpline Calls were received from women.
  • 22 women were pregnant and 40 women were over the age of 56.
  • 117 women and 152 children were accommodated in refuge.
  • 5 women and 4 children were admitted to refuge.
  • 21 women could not be accommodated in refuge because there was not enough space.
  • 345 women received a range of support, information and advocacy services, including court, hospital or legal accompaniment.
  • 387 women were Irish. Services also responded to women from over 36 different countries.
  • 26 Children attended counselling services, 17 attended group support and 112 were in childcare services operated within domestic violence services.

Click here to download the report

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