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Population size: 


Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

UN Violence against women records Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime at 15 % and Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women at 3%.[2]

In 2018, there were 16,994 disclosures of domestic violence against women noted during 19,089 contacts with Women's Aid Direct Services. There were 11,112 incidents of emotional abuse, 3,816 incidents of physical abuse and 1,540 incidents of financial abuse disclosed. In the same year, 528 incidents of sexual abuse were disclosed to our services including 226 rapes.[3]

The Women's Aid National Helpline responded to 15,835 calls in 2018. 1 in 7 women in Ireland compared to 1 in 17 men experience severe domestic violence and Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence against women: 5%.[4]

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

The estimated economic cost of domestic violence to the Irish economy is €2.2billion a year. This is based on the Council of Europe (COE) figure that domestic violence costs each member state €555 per citizen (amounting to a total cost of €33 billion for the whole COE) annually in policing, health bills, lost productivity and court procedures.[5]

Estimated cost of work absenteeism related to domestic violence and abuse per annum: $29m and estimated cost of lost economic output related to presenteeism, US$ million per annum: $75mn (5% productivity loss).[6]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

Increase in calls to domestic violence hotline.[7]

New figures provided by An Garda Síochána show gardaí have dealt with 5,592 cases of individuals who have been the subject of domestic abuse since Operation Faoiseamh, the Garda’s dedicated domestic violence operation during lockdown, was launched on April 1. The figures represent a 25 per cent increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents recorded by gardaí over the same period in 2019.

Current law and policy:

Ireland is implementing its second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2015–2018) relating to overseas development aid, peacekeeping and diplomatic engagement, as well as regarding migrant women affected by conflict living in Ireland, and women affected by the Northern Ireland conflict. In addition, over 46 per cent of Ireland’s bilateral Official Development Assistance is focused on addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) is a core priority for Irish Aid (Ireland’s overseas development programme). The Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence works to share learning and build its capacities to prevent and respond to GBV in developing countries. In November 2015, Ireland signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. A new National Women’s Strategy will be published by the end of 2016, which will inform a new integrated framework for social inclusion to tackle inequality and poverty.

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Ireland”, (

[4] National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland, 2005

Further Reading



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