Unmarried And Separated Parents of Ireland
A support group for parents in relationship difficulties
Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is defined as any form of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse which puts family members safety or welfare at risk. Domestic Abuse is gender neutral, as violence is a problem that can experienced by any member of a family. Domestic Abuse falls into the following categories:

  • Physical Violence.
  • Psychological Abuse.
  • Sexual Assaults.
  • Mutual Violence.
  • Denial of Financial Support
Domestic Abuse is not a single gender crime that is comitted against only women.
In reality it is a parental crime that can be committed and directed towards every member of the family.
Training is needed in all State services, Gardai, Family Courts, Social Services etc, so as to adequately provide a more gender sensitive approach to the different types of Domestic Abuse.

Physical Violence

Physical Violence is an attack by one or more persons on another person with the purpose of causing injury. The method of these attacks include being pushed, shoved, punched or hit with implements, such as fists, hammers or knives. The injuries arising from these attacks include scratches, black eyes, bruises, teeth loss, cuts and stab wounds, scalding by hot water, and concussion caused by blunt implements etc.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological Abuse can take many forms:

Emotional Abuse

Such as name calling, criticism, mind games and humiliating behaviour.


Threats of injury, false accusations and allegations, lies, being left homeless, injury while you sleep.

Using Children:

Damaging parent child relationships, compelling children to take sides in disputes, denying access to children, threats of injury to oneself or the children.

Using Isolation:

Jealousy of the relationship with your children, family and friends. Invasion of privacy, such as reading private documents /letters/text messages etc.

Denying and Blaming:

Denying any abuse to a partner or child, putting the blame on the abused parent, using excuses such as overwork to minimise the abuse.

Economic Abuse:

Controlling finances, having to account for every cent spent, not having access to your own earnings, your partner putting the family into debt etc.

Passive Control:

Threatening to commit suicide or self harm.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is used to control or humiliate a partner. You may be forced to have unwanted sexual intercourse or to perform unusual sex acts. Demeaning comments and comparisons regarding your sexual ability. Being unfaithful or threatening unfaithfulness is often used as a weapon of abuse.

Mutual Violence

Three Irish gender neutral surveys were carried out by:

  1. The Marriage and Relationship Counselling Service (MRCS)
  2. Accord
  3. A study for the Department of Health and Children
The MRCS study found that domestic violence between couples tends to be mutual in a third of the cases (33%), female-perpetrated in four out ten couples (42%) and male-perpetrated in a quarter of couples (25%).

The Accord study found that where domestic Violence occurs, (46%) involved mutual violence; in (30%) of cases it was perpetrated by women only and in (24%) by men only.

The Department of Health study found, where domestic violence occurs, (50%) was mutual with the remainder divided equally between women-only and men-only perpetration.

These findings reflect the results of all independent two-sex studies carried out world-wide.      

Financial Abuse

A denial of Financial support for your Ex Wife / Husband or your Children is an unacceptable abuse that takes place. If you are a responsible Parent you should not let the acrimony that exists between you deny your Children access to adequate Food and Clothing and to address their Educational needs.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can come in many forms. The denial of access by the resident Parent preventing the absent parent seeing their children is emotional abuse of the Children because they have a right to know and be Loved and Cared for by both Parents irrespect of what relationship difficulties the parties are experiencing. Some Parents seek to alienate the absent parent and this can impact on the Children, if not at present it will impact on them at a later stage in their Lives and will resurface in their own relationships / marriage.

Look towards a balanced Co Parenting plan that ensures continuity of the valuable bond that existed before the Separation and it will mirror back into the overall outcome of how best to live in a divided unit.
Whilst we acknowledge that sometimes Orders are made in the Courts to eliminate access / guardianship and maintenance payments these Orders are made in the best interests of ther Children and can seem to be unfair and unjust. But the Welfare of Children should be foremost in Parent's minds and they should be put first. Seek Consultation instead of Confrontation and get advice and help at the earliest opportunity if you feel that your Family is falling apart for whatever reasons to maintain your ability to ensure the  long term stability of onne and all.

                                            "  Nothing becomes of Bitterness "


Impact of Abuse on Children

Statistics of Domestic violence against children has lagged behind that of abuse against Parents. The reason for this is a tendency to classify parents and children together. Emerging evidence of Parental Domestic Violence affects every member of the family including children, therefore society must recognise that Domestic Child Abuse exists and can no longer be ignored. Children that witness abuse and are also the subject of abuse receive a double blow. The affects of such abuse will vary depending on the frequency, intensity of the abuse, their age, type of abuse and what support mechanisms are in place. A child who witnesses abuse is more likely to abuse a partner in adult life. As long as attempts to address Domestic Abuse deems that men are the only perpetrators it is unlikely to reach the source of a gender abuse issue Committed on children. A constructive balanced review is needed to establish the effects of Domestic Violence on children and the effective remedies for such abuse.

We must insist on an advertisement campaign to stop Domestic Violence against the Person (men women and children). 

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