Gardaí have launched a new operation to ensure domestic abuse incidents are a top priority during the Covid-19 lockdown.
‘Operation Faoisimh’ has been designed to ensure victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected in this extraordinary time.
The initiative will utilise the Garda Victim Services Offices nationwide to facilitate phone contact with previous victims of domestic abuse to ensure they are safe and protected.
The isolation guidelines implemented in recent weeks has not led to any increase in reports of Domestic Abuse incidents, gardaí have said.
However, a 16% increase in domestic abuse incidents has been recorded between 2019/2020.
Gardaí have issued a statement today 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 our streets and in our communities around the country and we are ready to assist and protect victims of domestic abuse,” the statement said.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau stated;
“I am conscious and aware that victims of Domestic Abuse can feel afraid and concerned at this time and I wish to assure those experiencing such abuse that An Garda Síochána are available and willing to assist you in this difficult time. The Covid-19 outbreak has not diminished our service and we are committed to your protection. If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and I ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect”.
Meanwhile, the Donegal Domestic Violence Service has launched a guide on staying safe during Covid-19 for victims and survivors of domestic abuse: https://www.donegaldomesticviolenceservices.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Safety-planning-guide-victims-and-survivors-COVID-19-DDVS.pdf