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An Garda Síochána Publishes Analysis of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Incidents

An Garda Síochána has today published detailed findings of an analysis of recorded Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence incidents.

This follows substantive improvements in recording practices and sustained increased reporting rates by victims over several years.
Among the key findings of the report:

  • Murders overall have fallen over time, but the proportion of those with a domestic abuse motivation represented the majority of murders (52%) for the first time in 2021
  • Domestic Abuse (DA) primarily affects females (77% of injured parties) and is the key driver of (female) gender based violence. This includes sexual offences where DA motivations increased by 399% from 2020 to 2021. However, it is important to state that these increases and others highlighted in the report are likely to be reflective of increased reporting and improved recording practices, not necessarily (or certainly only) as a result of increasing rates of domestic abuse
  • The number of sexual assault incidents has increased over time with females comprising the majority of victims (80%). Both male and female victims were mostly aged under 18 years old at the time (81% of all male victims and 55% of all female victims). High proportions of sexual offences occur in residential locations for both males and female injured parties (52% and 62% respectively)
  • Attempts/Threats to Murder, Assaults, Harassments and Related Offences – the number of incidents has increased over time; 57% of victims are males, 43% are females. Victims are more likely to be older adults for both females and males. When males are the injured party the incident is more likely to have occurred in a non-residential location (71%); incidents with female injured parties are more likely to have occurred in a residential location (59%)
  • Taking all of the major crime groups above together:
    • The offender is male in the majority of incidents with a female victim (74%). When the victim is male, the offender is also male for the majority (88%)
    • For the sub-set of incidents where the Victim Offender Relationship is available, female victims are more likely than males to know the offender (84% of female victims compared to 61% of male victims)

Speaking today, Detective Chief Superintendent, Garda National Protective Services Bureau, Colm Noonan, said, “An Garda Síochána is unwavering in our commitment to supporting victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence, and investigating and prosecuting offenders.

“In recent years this has seen An Garda Síochána introduce a number of measures including Operation Faoiseamh, Divisional Protective Service Units, a strong focus on call-backs to victims of domestic abuse, and increased training for Gardaí in this area.

“As a society, there has been a hugely positive sea change in how we view, understand and tolerate domestic abuse in our homes and in our communities, and how absolutely unacceptable it now is.

“For our part, we are focused on a number of operational areas that we believe will enhance how individual Gardaí respond to victims and incidents of domestic abuse to ensure that no matter where a person lives, the service and protection they receive from An Garda Síochána will be of a consistently high standard.

“This report and the detailed analysis and trends it provides, particularly around the increased and enhanced recording of the Victim Offender Relationship and Domestic Abuse motives, will inform us, at an operational level, on how we can build on the successful achievements of Operation Faoiseamh.
“I urge anyone who has in the past or may be currently suffering Domestic, Sexual or Gender Based Violence to contact any Garda station or in an emergency to call 999/112. I can assure victims that they will be supported and every incident will be investigated.
“By fully exposing these crimes, as well as constantly improving our policing response and wider policies, we can help reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse in our society.”

This report examined PULSE data related to the abusive and violent incidents reported to An Garda Síochána during the period 2019-2021, in order to determine emerging trends in the area of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
The longer term trends since 2013 were also examined and are included in the report to provide further context.
This report and further planned analysis will be used to support the various elements of the Government’s recently published ‘Zero Tolerance - Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence 2022-2026’.