Record murders of women
Since 1996 138 women have been murdered in Ireland, a majority of these relating to domestic violence. Far more women have been murdered by domestic violence than there have been gangland killings and yet the latter gets all the media and political attention. Research, by Women's Aid shows that nearly 48 per cent of the murders were committed by a husband, ex-husband, partner or ex-partner. And 63 per cent of the women were killed in their own homes.
Women's Aid is demanding the introduction of a National Domestic Violence Plan to reduce domestic violence homicide in Ireland, similar to the one in place in the UK. Homicide in London has been reduced by more than 90 per cent in four years. In London there is a focus on protection of victims of domestic violence, including intensive training for police and crown prosecution service, specialised domestic violence courts, and sentencing guidelines for domestic violence.
Last year the Irish Women's Aid National Helpline responded to 11,994 calls. Over 60 per cent of calls related to emotional abuse and 25 per cent to physical abuse. A survey by National Crime Council estimated that 213,000 women in Ireland have been severely abused by a partner.