ACCORD, the Catholic marriage care service that operates in 60 centres throughout Ireland – including Longford - has released its statisticts for 2012, and there has been a sharp rise in the number of people accessing its marriage preparation and marriage counselling services.
“Over each of the last three years 2010, 2011 and 2012, there has been a modest year-on-year increase in demand for ACCORD marriage preparation courses, with an average of 7,000 couples taking their marriage preparation course each year,” said a spokesperson, adding that the organisation had also delivered 50,422 hours of marriage counselling in 2012.
According to the latest statistics, services in the Central Region - which includes Longford,
Athlone, Ballina, Ballinasloe, Charlestown, Mullingar, Navan, Roscommon, Sligo and Tullamore were accessed by hundreds of people in 2012, with 2,444 individuals availing of marriage counselling. In total, the organisation delivered 5,551 hours of marriage counselling to couples in this region.
“Our figures indicate that the levels of anxiety and stress reported by clients, remains high, although there has been a marginal decrease from 87% in 2010 to 83% in 2011 and 82% in 2012,” the spokesperson continued. “Reports of communication difficulties have risen since 2010 when 74% of individuals reporting criticism and insults, and 79% reported not listening or ignoring as a problem in their relationship, to 78% and 82% respectively in 2012.”
The statistics also pointed to the fact that 58% of individuals who presented to ACCORD in 2012, rated financial difficulties as a problem – a 2% increase on 2011 when 56% reported finances as a problem. Levels of emotional abuse reported by clients has also risen, while levels of depression remained consistent throughout 2011 and 2012.
“Concerns about separation have risen over the past three years from 52% in 2010 to 57% in 2011 and 58% in 2012,” the spokesperson added. “The number of clients reporting infidelity as a problem has risen slightly over the three year period, from 24% in 2010, to 25% in 2011 and to 26% in 2012 and reports of physical violence in relationships have shown a decrease over the three year period ranging from 19% in 2010, to 14% in 2011 and to 13% in 2012.”