‘You are not alone’ – Wicklow TD urges victims of domestic violence to contact support groups
A Wicklow TD is urging anyone suffering domestic violence to get in touch with their nearest support groups and he reminded people suffering abuse the 2km travel restriction does not apply to them as seeking help is categorised as an essential journey.
Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly spoke out after recent reports showed the number of incidents of domestic violence being reported by Gardai has risen by a shocking 30% in some areas.
“There are real fears the true number of cases could in fact be much higher as many women are too afraid to speak out,” he said.
“I have been told of cases where women are sneaking out to the garden shed to ring for help.
“The rise in domestic abuse cases is seemingly linked to the lockdown as victims are trapped in close proximity with their abusers.
“But it’s important to get the message out there that there is still help.
“You can either ring the Gardai or national groups like Women’s Aid who now have a text chat feature on its website which allowed women to send a message from their mobile phone without running the risk of being heard by their abuser.
“In Wicklow the Bray Women’s Refuge is offering a 24-hour service and while the number of units they are operating has reduced slightly they are still very much available to help.
“The Bray refuge work closely both with the Gardaí as well as social workers and can be reached by phone or through messaging their Facebook page.
”The centre is even able to offer self-isolation for anyone who thinks they need it.
“It’s incredibly important victims know there is help out there and although it may be incredibly difficult for them to speak out they need to know they will be helped,” he said.