Reports of domestic abuse are up 30% in some parts of the country. Here are ways we can all help those who are not safe at home

The news that domestic abuse is on the rise since the lockdown began in Ireland is devastating. Domestic violence reports to the Gardaí are up 20%-30% in some areas, and Women’s Aid is reporting an increase in calls for its services.

It has been the case worldwide that lockdown can exacerbate fraught home situations. Victims may be in such close proximity to their abusers that they may not have the opportunity to reach out for help.

Increased financial hardship and a rise in drinking in the home are also exacerbating situations for victims who live with abusive partners.

Here are things we can all do now to try to help those who are not safe at home:

Text ACTION to 50300

You can help right now by texting ACTION to 50300 to donate €4 to Women’s Aid. They need funds for their services such as the 24hr phone line and supports for women seeking barring orders from their partners.

Support #CreativesagainstCovid, in aid of Women’s Aid and Childline

This beautiful campaign refocuses our attention on looking towards the future. These prints are a reminder of all the things we can look forward to when life gets back to normal and how we will appreciate life so much more. The posters cost €40 and all proceeds will go to the charities. Here are some of our favourites.

Arrange your own fundraiser

Take inspiration from these brilliant online campaigns and start your own mini-movement in aid of this deserving cause.

Bake off

Newtownshandrum Camogie Club has arranged a bake-off fundraiser in aid of Women’s Aid. While of course they cannot do a bake sale or a taste test in person, they are instead taking to Instagram and asking their followers to compare their efforts, asking their friends to vote for the best looking bakes. They are taking donations on GoFundMe.

Brave a shave or dye

Grace Higgins will shave her head  to help raise funds for Women’s Aid. She will brave the shave on Saturday May 2nd when her goal of €1,000 is raised on GoFundMe. You can donate here.

Join Women’s Aid

While now may not seem like the time for a career change, perhaps your skill set is exactly what Women’s Aid needs. They are recruiting a Services Manager to manage, develop and support Women’s Aid Dublin-based services.

In emergency situations

Report suspected violence to the Gardaí

Don’t hesitate to call the authorities if you think someone may be being harmed or abused at home. According to advice on whatwouldyoudo.ie, if a situation is already violent or looks like it is escalating quickly, don’t directly intervene. You may endanger yourself, and the abuser may take their anger out on the victim at another point. Call the Gardaí on 999.

Know where to turn for help

If someone is in need of help and their home isn’t safe, support is still here. Here is a link to resources and support services available throughout Ireland, stillhere.ie.

Reach out if you can

If you suspect that someone is being abused by a partner at home, Women’s Aid advises people to keep in contact with them in a safe way. Direct them towards resources that can provide responsible advice. Women’s Aid has a 24hr National Helpline at 1800 341 900, available seven days a week.