Green Party Justice spokesperson, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has urged the Government to expand access to domestic abuse services in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Domestic abuse organisations have raised concerns in light of coronavirus restrictions, as lockdown conditions force victims to spend all day with their abuser. Justice Spokesperson Roderic O’Gorman said: “For anyone suffering domestic abuse, the family home is a place of anxiety, fear, and stress.

“We know from experience abroad that restrictions associated with Covid-19 have been linked to a spike reports of domestic abuse. In Ireland, domestic abuse organisations are already reporting a surge in calls and refuges near capacity.

“As stricter lockdown conditions come into effect, I am urging the Department for Justice to follow the French and Spanish examples in expanding access to crisis support, including emergency warning systems in pharmacies, an online distress system and increasing funding for shelters.

“The Gardaí must also be prepared to use emergency barring orders, which will be in place for up to 8 days, if there is an immediate risk of a person being harmed in a home. It is absolutely vital that, while Covid-19 restrictions are in place, the Government ensures that anyone affected by domestic abuse have all supports necessary available to them.”