55% Increase In Reports Of Domestic Abuse Of Children

Reports of child abuse increased by 55% in 2012, according to domestic abuse charity, Woman's Aid.

The groups annual reports reveals that in 2012, they received 16,200 disclosures of domestic violence against woman and 3,230 disclosures of emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children, an increase of 55% on the previous year.

They are using their report to call for, "24/7 access to legal protection for vulnerable women and children and for the Government to sign up to the Istanbul Convention."

The Istanbul Convention is the common name given to a European directive on "preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence".

Speaking at the launch of the 2012 Annual Report, Margaret Martin, Women's Aid Director, said: "Domestic violence is a serious crime against women and children in Irish society but one that is hidden and minimised.  I am very concerned about the increasing number of disclosures to Women's Aid of children being directly abused and exposed to domestic violence. In 2012, women told us on 3,230 occasions that their children were being hit, including with household items, smacked, constantly shouted at, and in some cases, sexually abused. Children have witnessed their pets being abused, kicked and thrown against walls.  At times, the perpetrator of the abuse has deliberately targeted the children as a way to hurt both them and their mother."


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