Only when all women and children who
need information, support and refuge have access to it, can our
society claim to support the right of women and their children
to live free from violence and abuse.
Since the establishment of the service
in 1994, there has been three key elements:
Outreach Clinic Service;
Education and Awareness;
It provides safe, secure accommodation
and a supportive, non-judgmental environment for women and
children escaping violence in their own home. At the present time
our refuge facility is limited. We provide two units of
accommodation. However it is our hope that this aspect of the
service will be fully operational within the current year through
the provision of further funding.
EDUCATION AND RAISING
The service has had a number
of seminars and workshops, gives talks to women’s groups,
schools and other service providers and in the community,
voluntary and statutory sectors.
Each year the service engage
with Women’s Aid and other Refuge Services throughout the
country in the ‘Sixteen Days of Action against Violence against
The Education and Awareness
Programme is essential to the Service, and needs to be maintained
We are working in partnership with Sonas
Women’s Housing Association, Ballina Urban District Council and
Respond! to provide transitional and long term housing for women
and children made homeless as a result of domestic violence. A
local working group is in place to support this work.
The abuse of women and the
abuse of children have been examined as separate issues, with
services being developed at different stages. Children’s
experiences have been largely ignored in the context of domestic
violence. Increasingly it has been found that in circumstances
when the mother is experiencing domestic violence and abuse from
her male partner the children are also likely to be abused by the
same man. We consider that the development of a programme of
support for children should be part of the provision of overall
services both in the refuge and in the community.
was sick of walking into doors,
tripping over the cat
the kids had wanted for years.
was sick of trying to remember
trying not to forget
to say, and what not to say.
was sick of worrying about what to cook
what she should wear,
knowing she would never quite get it right.
was sick of being awake when she wanted to sleep
of his screams
her own dark dreams.
of crying and worrying about dying,
he said he would kill her
of these fine days,
she believed him.
one day they left,
up and left,
she didn’t die,
she knew what to wear,
she started to see the doors,
the cat never got in her way,
the kids started to laugh again.