Irish domestic violence figures are 'horrific' says SAFE Ireland director

The number of families seeking refuge from domestic violence in the Republic of Ireland are a horrific indictment of society, according to campaigners.

Women were turned away by refuges more than 2,500 times in the last year.

SAFE Ireland - an umbrella organisation for over 40 domestic violence service providers, said there was no room at existing facilities.

It said more than 11,000 women and children sought refuge in 2011 - an increase of 15% on the 2010 figure.

The director of SAFE Ireland, Sharon O'Halloran, told the Irish state broadcaster, RTE that domestic abuse was the most under-reported, undocumented and unprosecuted crime in the Republic.

She said it was a horrific and sad indictment of Irish society.