New figures show nearly 3,500 women contacted a domestic violence service for the first time during initial lockdown.
A new report from Safe Ireland shows a total of 3,450 women and 589 children, who had never contacted a domestic violence service before, looked for support and safety from abuse during the first six months of COVID-19.
This equates to 575 'new' women and 98 'new' children every month - or 19 women and three children every day.
New women and children accounted for 29% and 24% respectively of all those who looked for support from a domestic violence service during the first wave of the coronavirus crisis.
In total, at least 1,970 women and 411 children received support from a domestic violence service every month over the period.
'Support is there'
Edel Hackett from Safe Ireland told Newstalk Breakfast this is not the first time they have seen a surge in demand.
"I suppose what this report does is it really exposes - and it exposes it again - because this is not the first shocking report of statistics on domestic violence in this country.
"But it exposes the enormous prevalence and the pattern to domestic violence - exacerbated by a pandemic, not caused by a pandemic - that has locked women and children down with their abusers."
"When we look at accommodation, there's nearly 200 women and 300 children who are staying in domestic violence [shelters].
"And this is an indication of the pressure that services are under: at the same time about 1,300 requests for accommodation couldn't be met because there simply wasn't space.
"Now women and children were looked after because the services have been really creative and really have worked really hard to find accommodation.
"So it's really important that while imparting these really shocking statistics, it's important that women and children know that services are open and support is there".
The six-month report also shows that 33,941 helpline calls were answered across the country over the period - an average of 184 calls every day.
By comparison in 2018, domestic violence services responded to an average of 147 calls a day.
The COVID-19 call rate shows an increase of 25%.
Safe Ireland also recommended that €7.5m was needed for services in Budget 2021 to ensure that they can meet current and growing demands.
But to date, it says there has been no clarity from Government on how the hard pressed sector is actually going to be funded.
The sector is also looking for the urgent roll out of a funded national service development plan, as the start of a comprehensive and long-term response to the enormous everyday problem of domestic violence, exacerbated by lockdown.
Anyone affected by issued raised in this article can find more information here