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Tag Archives: domestic abuse

Safety of domestic abuse victims ‘always the priority’ for gardaí

THE SAFETY of domestic abuse survivors is prioritised at all times by Clare Gardaí, according to Sergeant Caitríona Houlihan. Commenting on issues raised by South Galway mother-of-three, Sourney Linnane, who experienced harrowing coercive control, Sergeant Houlihan stressed local gardaí constantly risk assess when dealing with survivors of domestic abuse. An informal interview suite in Crusheen Garda Station is available to any Clare garda investigating domestic violence or a sexual crime. Sergeant Houlihan said a big focus for the gardai is to ensure victims are not traumatised again, which can unwittingly happen if they are interviewed in a garda station. “The interview suite is very calm and peaceful, accessible but very private. People suffering from domestic abuse are sometimes followed watched or tracked particularly if they go near a garda station. “The most dangerous time is when a woman or a man decides to leave an abusive relationship. We are conscious at all times of the need to minimise the risk …

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Clare first to allow people seek protection orders via video link

Clare issues first protection order in court via video link CLARE was the first county to host a Protection Order application via video link last week in relation to alleged domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. While men and women can’t make an application for these orders in person, they can contact the Family Law Office and make their application over the phone. If a person is isolating due to Covid-19 or unable to attend, they can speak to the clerk and may be accommodated via video link. Sergeant Caitríona Houlihan explained the first application for an online Protection Order concerned a woman that was isolating because of Covid-19. This was arranged by Clare Haven Services working with officials in the Clare Courts Service; the hearing took less than an hour. Sergeant Houlihan said while each case is dealt on its own merits, the pandemic is not a barrier to the application process. “Every case that comes into the Clare …

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Clare Haven turns to world of business to fund services

CLARE Haven Services has launched a new fundraising campaign seeking corporate donations to help cope with the dramatic increase in the demand for its services. Dr Siobhan O’Connor, Clare Haven Services manager, has confirmed there was a 21% increase in the number of people accessing their refuge from December 2019 to December 2020, which covers a large portion of the Covid-19 pandemic. There was also a similar hike in the number of people using the Clare Haven helpline during this period. Dr O’Connor said the increase shows the importance of having services like Clare Haven available at a localised specialised level and the complexity of domestic abuse, as survivors need a selection of choices and supports. With great determination, Clare Haven and its supporters have worked tirelessly throughout Covid-19 to ensure that all women and children who reached out for help and support have the comfort and knowledge that they will be supported by this service for women and their …

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‘Significant increase’ in breaches of domestic abuse court orders, JPC hears

ALCOHOL and drug use in the home have been blamed, in part, for what Clare’s Garda Chief Superintendent has described as “a very significant increase” in breaches of court orders in cases of domestic abuse. Outlining crime figures for January to March at the meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran noted a 43% rise in the breaches of barring orders, safety orders and protection orders issued by the courts to protect victims and families. The rise, from 21 breaches in the first quarter of last year to 30 to date in 2021, is in sharp contrast to a general drop across most crime categories during the pandemic. The chief superintendent also outlined an increase of 10% in the number of domestic disputes where no offence was disclosed. These rose from 92 incidents between January and March of last year to 101 in the same period in 2021. Concerns about domestic abuse during the pandemic were …

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‘Shocking’ rise in domestic abuse in second lockdown last year

NEW figures reveal that three Clare children were forced to spend Christmas Day in a refuge because of domestic abuse in their home. The data, which highlights the added pressure on the refuge operated by Clare Haven during the second lockdown last year, have been described by the service manager as “shocking”. Figures contained in the national report ‘Tracking the Shadow Pandemic – Lockdown 2,’ show that ten women and 17 children were given refuge, safety and security at Clare Haven in the month of November. A further 72 helpline calls were received to the service in that month alone, where we gave emotional support and information to women living with domestic abuse. A total of four women and 13 children were given refuge in December. Over the course of 2020, 88 women were in refuge in Clare up from the 79 in 2019 and 81 in 2018. “Even in an extraordinary time of crisis, these numbers are shocking,” said …

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Alarm at rise in breaches of domestic abuse orders

SHOCK has been expressed over a spike in Clare in breachers of domestic violence orders, over the course of 2020, as well as an increase of reported incidents of abuse within the home. Figures presented to Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week show that there were 89 breaches of barring, safety and protection orders last year. This compares with 72 such incidents in 2019, and represents a rise of 24%. Commenting on the figures, Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, a member of the JPC, said the pandemic seemed to have created a situation whereby some people felt they had the opportunity to breach orders issued by the courts. “We need to increase the visibility of Gardaí in order to deter these people,” the Sinn Féin representative said. “The marked increase in crimes connected to domestic violence is quite shocking and in contrast to the decrease seen in other kinds of offences. When it comes to crime during the pandemic, we …

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Support for women affected by domestic abuse and violence

WOMEN affected by domestic abuse and domestic violence are finding it more difficult to make contact for support with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic removing “little windows of freedom”, according to Clare Haven. However the local service have assured that they are open and working to protect women and children despite the ongoing health crisis. This comes as Clare Gardai confirmed a number of domestic violence incidences were reported to them last week. Clare Haven Services, which has been supporting women and children affected by Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence in Co Clare for 25 years, has welcomed as “timely” a new Government awareness and information campaign on domestic violence. Dr Siobhán O’Connor, Manager of Services, said that the campaign comes at a critical time for women and children who may be confined and isolated with their abuser in towns and townlands across the county. She said that the campaign was creative and strong in its message to survivors and communities …

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Gardai committed to helping domestic abuse victims

An Garda Síochána have stressed that they will help and support anyone who is a victim of the crime of Domestic Abuse, they should contact their local Garda station or in an emergency call 999/112. An Garda Síochána recognises the increase in anxiety and fear felt by those who may be victims of domestic abuse during this period of Public Health Measures to combat COVID-19. An Garda Síochána is taking this opportunity to reassure victims that domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, will continue to receive highest priority response for service. The restructuring of An Garda Síochána ensures that there are more Gardaí than ever on the streets and in our communities around the country and we are ready to assist and protect victims of domestic abuse. An Garda Síochána has recorded a year on year increase, of approximately 16%, in the reporting of Domestic abuse incidents between 2019/ 2020 but we have not currently recorded a significant increase in …

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