West of Ireland Men Leading the Way

Men and boys in the West are proud to play our part with mothers, partners, sisters and daughters to break the sinister cycle of abuse that remains a huge issue in our communities.

In their lifetime, 1 in 3 women throughout Ireland will experience abuse by a male partner. On average every year, over 10,000 women and 3,500 children receive support from domestic abuse services. And these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. We know from research that 79% of women never report the most serious incidents of violence to the GardaÍ. Domestic abuse is the most under-reported, undocumented and unprosecuted crime in the country.

Coercive Control and Violence against women and girls are totally preventable. Together, we can make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children.

What is Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control?

Both mean the same thing. Domestic abuse or coercive control describes a persistent and deliberate pattern of behaviour by an abuser over a prolonged period of time designed to achieve obedience and create fear. It may include coercion, threats, stalking, intimidation, isolation, degradation and control. It may also include physical and/or sexual violence.

Coercive control is a crime in Ireland since January 1st 2019.

Coercive control is all about making a woman’s world smaller – trapping her, restricting her independence and freedom. A controlling partner may, over time, shut out friends and family, stalk or constantly track a girlfriend or partner, constantly send text messages and make phone-calls, tell somebody what to eat or wear – all the time chipping away at a partner’s confidence and destroying her self-respect.

You do not have to be living together as an intimate couple to experience coercion and controlling behaviour.

Click here to find out more about the offence of coercive control.

About Man Up West

MAN UP is an inspiring, brave and pioneering campaign to harness the voices, talents, concerns and activism of men and boys to play their crucial role in helping change the face of domestic abuse and coercive control. It is our newest campaign. Man Up was first launched in 2012.

About Safe Ireland

A nation-wide movement to end domestic abuse and coercive control – and make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children.

We are the national social change agency working to end Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control. We are working hard – and making huge progress – to reduce the toxic and sinister scourge of Coercive Control and Domestic Abuse in Ireland.

We have a membership of 38 specialist frontline services throughout Ireland. Together, we support the development and provision of critical lifelines to an average of 13,500 womenand children every year.

We want to change culture so that Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control is not tolerated in our communities, where victims feel safe and supported to come forward – and where offenders are deterred and punished for their crimes.

We believe men and boys have a critical role to play in challenging abusive and disrespectful behaviour and supporting women and girls. That’s why Man Up West is such an important and unique initiative.

About Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is defined as any violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender.

Gender-based violence and violence against women are often used interchangeably as most gender-based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls. It is estimated that up to 25% of women have experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lives. (WHO, 2013)

Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women.  Although it is difficult to distinguish between different types of violence since they are not mutually exclusive, gender-based violence includes domestic abuse and coercive control, sexual harassment, rape, sexual violence during conflict, traditional harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages, trafficking, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, abortion or female infanticide.

The World Health Organisation recognises that “one of the most common forms of violence against women is that perpetrated by a husband or male partner.” It’s what is too often referred to as “just a domestic”.

This domestic abuse and coercive control is frequently invisible since it happens behind closed doors.  Compounding this, many legal systems and cultural norms do not treat it as a crime, but rather as a “private” family matter, or in some cultures, a normal part of life. However, since January 2019 Coercive Control is now a criminal offence in Ireland. For a quick reference to the criminal offence of coercive control in Ireland click here