Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin, has urged victims of domestic abuse not to stay silent during the Covid-19 pandemic. He was speaking during Mass on Second Sunday of Christmas, broadcast on KCLR 96FM.
He said, “This Covid pandemic is challenging the best of us. There is a hidden silent pandemic which is more prevalent whenever the more severe restrictions come into place. I speak of domestic abuse which can take many forms. In this time of pandemic couple relationships are being tested and challenged in ways that none of us could ever have foreseen. Lockdown introduces a unique set of new and unfamiliar stressors in a relationship, that might struggle to cope in normal times.
“With the pressures of a loss of income, with the stress of working from home, with increasing family demands from the little ones, it can become harder and harder to avoid the daily frustrations that can flare into full blown rows that might feel like the family is tearing itself apart. Often it starts with a word, a jibe, a cutting searing remark that can cause deep pain.”
Appealing to victims, Bishop Nulty said, “Don’t suffer in silence. Be aware there is help there through ACCORD, Catholic Marriage Care Service’s counselling service, through Women’s Aid, through Men’s Aid Ireland and most importantly in an emergency through An Garda Síochána. No one needs to live in fear. I repeat don’t suffer in silence. Seek help and stop the abuse now whether it be emotional, psychological, physical or coercive control.”