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"Staggering 40% Increase in Domestic Violence Since 2019" – Tóibín

N.B. Please see PQ below.

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has commented on figures released to Aontú regarding an increase in domestic violence call outs.


Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said "Figures released to Aontú through a PQ, show that the number of domestic violence calls responded to in 2022 was 53,775. This represents an increase of 4462 calls. This is a 9% increase on 2021 figures. Overall there has been a 40% increase in domestic violence calls responded to by Gardaí across the country when compared to 2019. This is a disaster for tens of thousands of people, mostly women. These are truly heartbreaking figures".


"Recently I received a PQ response which showed that more than 1,000 people, mostly women attended a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit last year. This is the first time ever the number attending surpassed 1000 people. The number of people attending a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit last year last jumped by 20% or more than 200 people. There is also a massive increase in rape and sexual violence. In 2011 there were 1,958 Sexual offences recorded. In 2021 the figure increased by 75% to 3,433 sexual offences. In 2011 there were 447 rapes recorded. In 2021 it had doubled to 983 rapes".


"Ireland is becoming a more violent place especially for women. Society and the Government are failing victims and survivors of domestic violence. The Government is introducing a standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation. There is significant evidence that this violent action is widespread in pornographic material that is consumed by boys as young as 10. Yet the government have refused to follow the lead of the French Government or the Aontú Bill which would stop the provision of these materials to children".      


"While sentences vary, Ireland is far too lenient in terms of our sentencing in terms of domestic violence or sexual abuse. We need a zero tolerance policy, and that means stronger sentencing. It also means more Gardaí being available when called out to these crimes. We also need stronger support in place for survivors. There are entire counties without any shelters available for victims of domestic abuse. The state needs to stop dragging its feet on these issues. Too many people's lives have already been damaged by inaction on this issue" concluded Deputy Tóibín



For Oral Answer on : 16/02/2023
Question Number(s): 8 Question Reference(s): 6738/23
Department: Justice
Asked by: Peadar Tóibín T.D.


To ask the Minister for Justice the number of times gardaí were called to scenes of domestic violence in the State in each of the past ten years and to date in 2023, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Tackling domestic violence and supporting vulnerable victims are priorities for the Department of Justice, for Government and for the Garda Commissioner. 

It is recognised that, historically, many people did not feel able to come forward to report domestic violence, for fear of retribution or indeed because they did not have confidence that the system would support and protect them.

An Garda Síochána and my Department are working hard to strengthen trust and confidence in the criminal justice system so that victims feel empowered to come forward. 

My Department has also worked with criminal justice agencies and civil society frontline partners on national awareness raising campaigns and to co-design our most ambitious domestic, sexual and gender based violence strategy.

I can assure the Deputy that the Gardaí prioritise and proactively respond to incidents of domestic abuse and have themselves reported that they respond to a domestic abuse incident approximately every 10 minutes.

Gardaí now have Divisional Protective Services Units in each division, so specialised teams nationwide follow up with vulnerable victims in these most difficult cases.

They have also introduced new mandatory domestic violence training, as well as training for using the 'Risk Evaluation Tool' to ensure all vulnerable victims receive the service and supports they need.

As part of delivering on the commitments under the Third National Strategy, Minister Harris is strengthening the law in this area, including by increasing the penalties for assault causing harm, introducing standalone offences of non-fatal strangulation and by progressing a new Sexual Offences Bill which will, among other things, better support victims.

Work also continues to implement Supporting a Victim's Journey, to reform the criminal justice system at every point a victim comes into contact with it, .

I am informed by An Garda Síochána that the number of domestic violence calls responded to in 2022 was 53,775.

This represents an increase of 4462 calls responded to, or approximately an 9% increase on 2021 figures.

Overall there has been approximately a 40% increase in domestic violence calls responded to by Gardaí across the country when compared with 2019 figures (which, as previously explained, was the year changes in the recording of these figures were introduced and so is the earliest comparable year to the 2022 figures).


By Aontú Press | 27 February, 2023

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