I am a victim of domestic violence. What should I do?

There are resources available to you where you can talk through the options that will work best for you and any children you may have, whether you are a victim of domestic violence, want to leave an abusive partner, or are a survivor.

You might think about doing the following:

  • Speak with a support service: A list of these Services is available on this website. For the nearest shelters and counselling services, you can also search your neighbourhood phone book or community services directory.
  • Speak with a friend, relative, or neighbour whom you trust.
  • Remember that you can make a safety plan, talk to your doctor, and report abuse to your neighbourhood Garda station. You may also need to go to them in an emergency or if you have to leave your family home.

The national helpline for Women’s Aid can be reached at 1800 341 900. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides women who are experiencing physical, sexual, or mental abuse in their own homes with privileged access to information, counsel, support, and understanding.

The Helpline also serves as a resource for women who are experiencing abuse in a relationship, including referrals to refuges, counselling services, lawyers, legal aid, and other voluntary and statutory organisations.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault, call the Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1800 778888 (run by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre).

Court Orders for Domestic Violence

The courts will consider your request for a safety or barring order. A safety order permits your partner to remain in the house while prohibiting them from acting violently or threateningly toward you. A barring order directs your partner to leave the house and prohibits them from acting violently or threateningly toward you.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault, call the Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1800 778888 (run by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre).

You can obtain a Protection Order from the courts while you wait for a Safety or Barring Order to be granted. This is a temporary safety order that forbids someone from acting aggressively or threateningly toward you. In exceptional cases where the judge feels you are in immediate danger and your abuser is not present, the judge may grant an interim barring order. You should contact your neighbourhood Garda Station if your abuser violates a Protection, Safety, or Barring Order.

Visit the District Court in your area to obtain an order. Although you don’t need legal counsel to file an initial application, the courts strongly advise it for full hearings. Call the District Court in your area to learn more.

Contact your neighbourhood refuge or Womens Aid (1800 34 900) if you’d like a companion.

Contact a family law attorney or The Legal Aid Board at 1890 615 200 (Monday through Friday, 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm) for more information.

Try these things if you’re considering leaving your partner:

  • Depart when they aren’t looking, and if you have kids, take them all along.
  • Don’t forget to pack your passport, driver’s license, marriage and birth certificates, PPS numbers, medical identification cards, address book, bank books, check books, credit cards, court orders, and any other important legal and financial documents that pertain to you and your kids.
  • Bring enough clothing for several days.
  • Don’t forget to pack any medications you or your kids might require.
  • Take along a few of your kids’ favourite toys and belongings.
  • Bring any sentimental value in your personal belongings.

For advice on how to leave your partner safely if you’re considering it, call Women’s Aid at 1800 341 900 or your local refuge. Amen (046 902 3718) can be reached by men who are victims of domestic violence. On this website, you can find information about these and other Local & National Services.

On this website, you can also find information for older people who are being abused at home and for men who are experiencing domestic violence.

This website’s content offers helpful advice on how to keep you and your family safe. It is not legal advice from a qualified professional and should not be taken as such. If you’re thinking about separating from your partner or your home, you should speak with a lawyer about the legal ramifications of your choice.

Without first seeking legal counsel, you shouldn’t bring the kids with you if you aren’t their legal guardian. Even if you are the children’s legal guardian, you should not remove them from the Republic of Ireland unless you have a court order authorising it or you have the approval of the children’s other legal guardians. Again, legal counsel is crucial.

The information on this page is to be used as an informational resource only.