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About Domestic Abuse


What is Domestic Abuse?


What are the types of Domestic Abuse?


Why are some men abusive towards women?


Is it true that if you are not physically abused, it is not domestic abuse?

No. Many women are not physically abused but are constantly emotionally abused and threatened. Some women are not physically abused at the beginning but over time the physical abuse starts. We encourage women to seek support as early as possible. If you are not sure if you are in a domestic abuse situation, you can ring the helpline and talk to a support worker who will help you think through your situation.


Why doesn’t she leave?

Women stay in the relationship for many reasons often due to the fact that they are financially dependent on their partner and have no access to money themselves or they have a fear of losing custody of their children or their home if they leave.


What is the ‘typical’ type of home where domestic abuse occurs?

There is no ‘typical’ home in which domestic abuse happens. It can happen to any woman in an intimate relationship. 1 in 5 women in Ireland are affected by domestic abuse regardless of age, marital status, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, where they live, or socio-economic background.


Is it  true that alcohol and/or drug abuse are the reasons why men abuse women?

No. Perpetrators look for excuses for their abuse. Society also excuses their behaviour. When we blame alcohol or drugs we are telling the abuser that he is not responsible.  It is true that abusers may also abuse alcohol and/or drugs but this does not cause the domestic abuse. If it did then all those who abuse alcohol/drugs would abuse their partners also.


It is just a 'domestic'. Should we not just mind our own business and let them sort it out?

Domestic abuse is a serious crime and should be treated as such. It can lead to physical injury, hospitalisation, or mental health issues. In some extreme cases it can result in homicide. No behaviour which so degrades and violates a human being can be dismissed as "just a domestic". 


Is it not true that abusive men come from violent homes? 

Studies show that abusers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Domestic abuse is a learned intentional behaviour rather than the consequence of  stress, individual pathology, substance use or a 'dysfunctional' relationship. Perpetrators of domestic abuse frequently avoid taking responsibility for their behaviour; minimising it,  blaming it on someone or something else, or denying it took place at all. 


Is rising unemployment and increasing financial pressures within the home making men more abusive towards women?

Economic difficulty does not cause domestic abuse. All forms of domestic abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and financial) were also a feature of Irish life during boom times. We know from women in abusive relationships however that their abuser may start to use his unemployment or financial difficulties as an excuse for the abuse. We also know that the women’s ability to escape domestic abuse is hampered by the recession. Women fear increased impoverishment, losing their home, and the effect of poverty on their children. This barrier to leaving is exacerbated by the use of financial abuse by a controlling boyfriend, husband or partner.