Abuse 'most likely within family home, not in institutions'

New figures from a nationwide counselling service show abuse is still most likely to happen in a family setting.

Connect says almost half of all callers to their helpline report abuse within the family home.

Nearly a third say they were abused in their community, while 15% were victims of institutional abuse.

Connect, which is an out-of-hours telephone service for abuse survivors, received 4,435 calls in the six months to June which was a similar level to last year. Almost 70% of callers reported physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

Some 71% of callers were aged under 50. About 28% of callers were under 40 and the majority of these reported abuse within the family home. None of the callers under 40 reported institutional abuse.

Connect's Service Manager Theresa Merrigan said their figures went against the common perception that abuse in Ireland has been largely an institutional problem.

A total of 66% of calls were from women, 32% from men and 2% from transgender people.

Connect is available at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK.

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