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13 June 2012
This event took place on Wednesday 13th June 2012.
Women's Aid launched its Annual Statistics Report for 2011 detailing domestic violence against women and children as told to the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 and One to One Services last year.
Women using the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline and Support Services disclosed 13,504 incidents of physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse in 2011. Women's Aid has noted 2,076 disclosures of direct emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children in homes where mothers are also being abused. This is a 25% increase on the previous year. In an additional 2,946 calls, it was disclosed that children were bearing witness to the most horrific abuse and violence against their mothers. This in itself is a recognised form of emotional abuse with detrimental effects to children's well-being.
Domestic violence is the most common context in which children experience abuse. In 2011, 44% of all callers to the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline disclosed that children were being directly abused or were present in the home where domestic violence was happening. Women have told us that their children were being hit, smacked, constantly shouted at, and in some cases, sexually abused. Many children will witness their mother being shouted at, threatened, physically assaulted and at times will see their mother being raped. Where they do not directly see the abuse occurring they may overhear abusive incidents, or will see the aftermath of it such as bruises, broken bones, damaged furniture and belongings. At times, the perpetrator of the abuse will deliberately target children as a way to hurt both them and their mother.
Women and Children's Experience of Domestic Violence as told to Women's Aid in 2011 Deirdre Campbell, National Freephone Helpline Manager, Women's Aid.
Women's experiences of Family Law Courts, Ms Ursula Regan, Family Law Solicitor from O'Neill, Regan and Company, and long serving member of Women's Aid Board of Directors. (not available)
Making Women and Children Safe from Domestic Violence, Margaret Martin, Director, Women's Aid.
The event was chaired by Dr. Mary Allen, College lecturer in the School of Applied Social Sciences and Chairperson of Women's Aid Board of Directors.
The Westin Hotel, Dublin 2