One in 5 young women experience intimate relationship abuse in Ireland, according to Women's Aid.
A new campaign has been launched this week for young women (aged 18-25) experiencing abuse from a current or former intimate partner.
According to Women’s Aid, young women who are not living with abusive partners are at particular risk of increased digital and online abuse by their partners or exes during Covid-19.
Alarmingly, reports from other jurisdictions indicate that instances of image based sexual abuse have surged since last March.
The Too Into You campaign highlights the warning signs of abuse, how to get help and the new law which makes cyber harassment and image based sexual abuse a crime.
One of the main focuses of the campaign is raising awareness, for survivors and perpetrators alike, that digital abuse, including image based abuse are now crimes in Ireland. Women’s Aid CEO, Sarah Benson, says:
“We have, quite rightly, been focused on those for whom home is not safe during Covid 19 because the pandemic has made homes where women and children are in close proximity to their abusers acutely high risk environments. However; we need to remember that you do not need to be living with a partner for them to target and abuse you when this can be achieved through digital and online means. The abuse can beam right into your home. This kind of abuse can disproportionately impact young adults.”
“We know that the abuse that takes place online can be devastating and ‘all-consuming’ given the ‘always on’ nature of life online. Women tell us how it is utterly draining, can often feel inescapable, and how it can be very difficult to block a persistent abuser from making contact.”
The three week long #TooIntoYou campaign aims to highlight that these actions are now crimes, whether intentional or otherwise.
The Women’s Aid Too Into You campaign website provides a range of tools and resources for young people including a relationship health check quiz, signs of abuse, information on legal protection and a guide to staying safe online.
The organisation hopes that anyone affected by intimate relationship abuse or anyone concerned about a friend or loved one will reach out for support to the 24hr National Freephone Helpline or Instant message support service on www.toointoyouie or www.womensaid.ie.