Supportive information and support service contacts for anyone living with or at risk of abuse
Nobody should have to deal with being abused but it happens, much more than what's spoken about. If you are in an abusive relationship or live with domestic violence then you need to get help and escape the situation. It is extremely difficult to leave an abusive situation.
You may still care for/love your partner, you may be extremely frightened of more abuse if you do leave, or you may second guess yourself and wonder if you are really being abused. Abuse can include neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Men, women, young people and adults are all at risk of abuse.
It's important to remember that nobody has the right to hurt you physically or emotionally, even if they're in a position of authority or they say that they love you. Abuse is wrong even if you think it's your fault or that the abuser didn't mean to hurt you.
If you're in an abusive relationship or live with domestic violence then you need to get help and escape from the situation.
- Tell someone you trust about the abuse and ask them to support you or go with you to the Gardai or police.
- If you can’t tell anyone that you know, you can speak confidentially with Samaritans.
- If the abuser is someone you know and love, it can be very difficult to speak out against what’s happening. Remember that even if they are nice most of the time, abuse is illegal and you shouldn’t have to ever put up with it.
- Sometimes an abuser will threaten to harm you or someone you love if you tell anyone what’s happening. They might say things like “I’ll kill you if you say anything”, “Nobody will believe you”, “This is our secret” or “I’ll hurt your brother if you say anything”. These threats are a way of frightening you into silence. If you tell the Gardai or police they can make sure that you and other family members are safe from harm.
- If you don’t tell someone about the abuse it will probably continue.
- If the abuser is living in your home then you might need a temporary place to live in safety. There are refuges for victims of abuse and the Gardai or police will be able to help you. If you’re under 18 you can get help from social services.
- Telling someone you’re being abused doesn’t mean that you’ll be taken away from your family. Social Services will try to work out a situation that means you are safe from abuse, but with your family.
- SAFE Ireland provides contact details for emergency accommodation and refuge from abuse and domestic violence across Ireland.
- AMEN is a voluntary group which provides a confidential helpline, information and a support service for male victims of domestic abuse and their children.
- Even after the abuse has stopped you might have emotional or self-confidence problems. Visit a counsellor to help sort out your feelings.
I've just left an abusive relationship
You may experience a variety of emotions and problems once you have left the relationship however. If you have been living with a partner, are married to them or have children with them, you may also have further legal battles. Even though you have left, you may still be in danger of further abuse from your partner. In fact, the period after you leave may be especially dangerous. So it is important to be mindful of your safety and to be aware that you may feel a variety of emotions.
You may even feel tempted to return to your abusive partner at times. So it is extremely important that you seek support from family and friends, as well as professionals. Violence and Abuse Prevention Alliance (VAPA) have more information about keeping safe and dealing with mixed emotions.
Information about sexual violence
Find supportive information at the Rape Crisis Network website.
Find out more about the following topics:
- I have just been raped, what should I do?
- Male survivors
- Child sexual abuse
- Drug-assisted sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Medical care after rape or sexual abuse
- What happens if I report to the Gardaí?
- The legal system
- Supporting survivors of sexual violence
- More about counselling
- More about trauma