Campaign Spotlight: Donegal Domestic Violence Service Focus on Young People

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 10:37 AM

ddvs art 1

Women's Aid caught up with some Women's Support Services, Community Development Projects, and Family Resource Centres from around the country to find out more about their fabulous 16 Days Campaign Actions in 2009. Read on for some inspiration for your own actions in 2010.

WA: What makes the 16 Days of Action an important priority for your organisation?

DDVS: It provides an opportunity to highlight the dynamics of domestic violence, especially with young people and encourages them to think about healthy and unhealthy relationships, which hopefully will promote positive choices in their present or future relationships.

WA: Please describe your campaign actions for the 16 Days of Action in 2009.

DDVS: We met with schools, youth groups, and gardai diversion projects, to explain the 16 Days campaign and ask for contributions to the Art & Poetry exhibition. This exhibition is put on public display throughout the16 Days campaign. We also run radio adverts throughout the campaign to highlight the DWDVS Service. The manager of DWDVS and Marian Harkin MEP spoke on local radio to highlight the campaign and raise awareness of the DWDVS service.

WA: Who was involved in your actions -- did you partner with any other organisations or individuals?

DDVS: We work with secondary schools, youth groups, and a variety of individuals, who contributed art and poetry on the subject of domestic violence to the exhibition. Marian Harkin, MEP is also a key ally.

WA: Please describe a particular challenge and/or a particular success of your campaign actions in 2009.

DDVS: The challenge would be to encourage young people to think positively about what they should expect from any relationship, and that they should always be of equal value in the relationship and to be aware that domestic violence is a crime. The success would be in the awareness and understanding of domestic violence that the young people take on board and which shows in the art and poetry which depicts not just physical abuse, but the emotional, mental and financial abuse as well.

WA: What impacts have you found your 16 Days campaign has had for your organisation, service users, or the community?

DDVS: We can see an increase in calls to our 24 hour Helpline and outreach support services on account of the 16 Days. We also receive contact from voluntary and statutory services requesting training and awareness on the dynamics of domestic violence, and also to refer women to our service. The campaign gives an opportunity for greater media coverage on the impact and dynamics of domestic violence, and to advertise our service.

WA: Would you have any advice for other organisations getting involved in the 16 Days of Action in 2010?

DDVS: We would definitely recommend organisations to become involved with the 16 Days campaign. It provides a great networking opportunity, and there is so much that can be done creatively and practically to highlight the prevalence of domestic violence within society as a whole and bringing it out from behind closed doors into the open.

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