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What is Abuse?

Domestic abuse is when a partner uses controlling, threatening, abusive or violent behaviour in their relationship.

At the root of all domestic violence is a desire for the abuser to have power and control over their partner. A range of behaviours are used to get this control. These abusive actions often get worse over time.

Can you answer yes to some of these questions?

Our 24hr helpline is 1800 46 46 46. Someone from our team is always ready to listen and support you. Call us day or night.

Emotional abuse
Coercive Control
Does your partner:
  • Stop you from leaving your home?

  • Become unhappy when you see your friends and family?

  • Shout and frighten you?

  • Make threats to hurt you, your children, family or pets?

  • Destroy your belongings or property?

Financial abuse
Does your partner:
  • Control all the household money?

  • Cut you off from bank accounts?

  • Sabotage your job or prevent you from going to work?

  • Monitor your phone and online activity; open your post and emails?

Sexual abuse
Does your partner:
  • Use force, threats, or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts?

  • Make you feel guilty for not having sex?

  • Have control of your contraception?

  • Make you watch pornography or force you to participate in making porn?

  • Share, or threaten to share,intimate images online or withfriends, family or colleagues

  • Rape you?

Physical abuse
Does your partner:
  • Punch or slap you?

  • Use weapons, such as knives or hammers against you?

  • Use household items as weapons e.g. throwing a phone at you?

  • Bite you?

  • Pinch you?

  • Kick you?

  • Pull your hair?

  • Push or shove you?

  • Burn you?

  • Strangle or choke you?

Our 24hr helpline is 1800 46 46 46. Someone from our team is always ready to listen and support you. Call us day or night.

Violence Against Women in Ireland

Research* in Ireland shows that 1 in 4 women who have been in a relationship in Ireland have been abused by a current or former partner.

The survey results indicate that:

4% of women were being physically and sexually abused by their current partner/spouse

11% had been physically or sexually abused by a former partner/spouse

11% of women were experiencing psychological abuse from a current partner/spouse

37% experienced psychological abuse by a former partner/spouse

41% of women knew a woman in their family and friendship circle who was being abused

49% of women had seen an awareness campaign on domestic violence, 49% had not.

* Figures from gender-based violence in Ireland (EU Fundamental Rights Agency [FRA] survey, 2015) where 1,567 women were interviewed in Ireland for this survey.

Domestic Violence and Gender

While we know that men also experience domestic violence and more work and focus is happening on this issue, 1 in 7 women compared with 1 in 17 men experience severe domestic violence. Women are over twice as likely as men to have experienced severe physical abuse, seven times more likely to have experienced sexual abuse and are more likely to experience serious injuries than men.

(National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men, 2005)

For more information relating to domestic violence in Ireland, please visit: