Half of people know a victim of domestic violence and say the culture of blaming the victim is rife, a study finds

Half of all Irish believe that there is still a culture of ‘victim blaming’ in our society, while a fifth of our young people have never heard the term ‘coercive control’.

A study conducted by Red C found that there is still confusion about what coercive control is across all age groups – four years after legislation was passed criminalizing prolonged emotional abuse.

The new study, commissioned by Allianz Insurance in partnership with Women’s Aid, found the vast majority of people believe Ireland needs to take domestic violence much more seriously.

The insurance company is working with Women’s Aid to establish a new national day of action against domestic violence next February 6th. It is the same day as the new national holiday marking St Brigid’s Day.

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Ursula Murphy from Allianz and Sarah Benson from Women’s Aid

As part of the research, Red C conducted a survey of a nationally representative sample of 961 people. Of those surveyed, 172 – just under 20 percent – said they had personal experience of domestic violence.

Another 552, well over half, said they knew someone who had experienced domestic violence.

“People across Ireland are finally and clearly saying ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to domestic violence. While 70 percent of people say they fear their action may make things worse for the abused person, they also clearly say they want to help.

We will lift the veil that hides domestic violence and uplift and support those in abusive situations

“We just have to show them how to do it. So we’re taking Ireland’s newest holiday and creating an annual moment of truth to end domestic violence,” said Sarah Benson, Executive Director of Women’s Aid.

“Next February 6th we will be urging the people of Ireland to stop what they are doing, if only for a brief moment, and speak out strongly on behalf of those in situations of domestic violence.

“Through this, we will lift the veil that hides domestic violence and uplift and support those in situations of abuse.”

Half of respondents agreed that Ireland’s “culture of victim blaming and the stigma attached to domestic violence remains a barrier to seeking help for victims of domestic violence”.

The same proportion of people indicated that a lack of knowledge about the services available and the “lack of consequences for the abuser” are also barriers that abuse survivors face.

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Women’s Aid Executive Director Sarah Benson. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Of those surveyed, almost a quarter of the population aged 18-24 wrongly believed that coercion was not a crime in Ireland.

Coercive control – the ongoing pattern of sustained emotional, psychological and often physical abuse – was criminalized in Ireland in 2018.

Ursula Murphy, Chief Transformation Officer at Allianz Insurance, acknowledged that Ireland has become more progressive and inclusive in recent years, but nevertheless “we still see too many tragedies involving violence against women”.

“Next February 6th we are asking everyone to join us in standing strong in support of these women and pushing for zero tolerance of domestic violence in Ireland.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/half-of-people-know-of-a-domestic-abuse-sufferer-and-say-victim-blaming-culture-is-rife-study-finds-42025115.html Half of people know a victim of domestic violence and say the culture of blaming the victim is rife, a study finds

Fry Electronics Team

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