There was a 20% rise in the number of calls to the helpline run by Offaly Domestic Violence Suppport Service (ODVSS) last year.
According to the group's annual report, its helpline dealt with 1,141 calls last year, over 20% more than in 2016 when the figure was 946 and a 33 per cent increase on 2015 when ODVSS received 854 calls.
In total, 141 individuals accessed services last year, 91 of who were accessing services for the first time.
ODVSS offers clients a range of support services, including one-to -one support, supports groups and monitored personal alarms.
In a statement, ODVSS said that many of its clients have experienced different forms of abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual, psychological and financial. Almost 180 children also accessed support services with a parent.
“Many times children are the invisible victims of abuse but we know that hearing, seeing and potential being abused themselves can have detrimental effects on children,” said Anne Clarke.
ODVSS now has now eight different outreach clinics in Banagher, Birr, Cloghan, Ferbane, Edenderry, Clara, Rhode, and Moneygall.
The organisation has provided support services for local victims of domestic abuse for almost 20 years. Chairperson for 2017 Molly Buckley says that the group has come a long way over that time.
“We are indebted to the women who started the service as a result of a domestic violence incident in their family that lead to the death of a young woman. As a foundering member I have reflected on the progress we’ve made as a service and as a Community in terms of our response and awareness of domestic violence and abuse.
From very humble beginnings as volunteers with little or no funding to a situation where our funding has been increaseed and a professional staffed team is dedicated to ensuring victims safety is our priority,” said Ms Buckley.