A national census is a well recognised, valuable methodology used internationally. Annual one day counts have been carried out in the US since 2006 and the UK since 2005.
On each census day we counted the number of women and children receiving support and accommodation due to domestic violence within a 24 hour period.
The purpose of this census was to obtain a sense of both the magnitude of the problem in Ireland and the amount of support currently being provided.
We carried out our first census in 2008 and the release of these figures raised significant awareness of the issue of domestic violence amongst the general public. The 2009 census continued in the same vein encouraging more women to access support for themselves and their children.
When presenting the results of the one day census, we also want to give an understanding of the context of these statistics; in particular we want to reflect that these figures represent real women and children experiencing domestic violence on a daily basis.
The stories presented in the census reports to date have been based on experiences reported by our member refuges on the day the census data was collected. For us it represents just some of the dynamics, complexities and realities of domestic violence for women and their children. In writing and presenting this story we wish to highlight to you that behind every single one of the numbers in this publication is the story of a woman or a child who has experienced or lived with violence, and that by accessing service, support and help, that woman or child may ultimately know what it is to be safe.
It is important to highlight that domestic violence may take many forms, and beyond the story and figures represented in our reports, there are many more stories and experiences not yet captured. There are many women and children who have not yet sought support and who continue to suffer in silence.
Domestic violence is still a silent crime in Ireland and we know that our member’s services are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg when it comes down to the actual reality.
Every woman’s experience may be different but every single one of those women, at risk or living in fear, has the right to safety and peace, as do her children if she has them. It is our basic human right to live free from violence.
National One Day Census of Domestic Violence Services 2011
Related News Stories