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Will you be our Valentine?
St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. A time filled with romance, gifts and a chance to celebrate love in our lives. But for the one in five women in Ireland who experience domestic violence, it can be a time of fear, dread and loneliness.
Emotional, sexual, physical and financial abuse doesn’t take time off for Valentine’s Day. For women like Clare** it is a day like any other.
“..We got inside and he pinned me into a corner with his hand wrapped around my throat, as he snarled abuse at me, threatening to kill me and leave with my daughter. He then started to push and shove me around by the base of my hair. I fell to the ground and began to fight back by continuously kicking him in hope that it would stop him in his tracks, but it didn’t work and I never fought back again, because while I was on the floor he kicked me into my face with such a force that it threw my head back causing it to split open in two different places.
I never sought medical attention because he had said once he saw blood he knew he had gone too far and that he was sorry. Plus I was terrified, all I could think of was, what if they believe I provoked him? What if my daughter gets taken away from me because we’re in a dangerous environment? That night I shut myself and my daughter into the bedroom and I cried myself to sleep.”
Every day and night this week, women like Clare will phone us. They will talk about being controlled, harassed and stalked. They will talk about hiding bruises and injuries from the outside world. They will tell us that they are being raped. Some will even confide that they believe their lives to be in danger.
Our National Freephone Helpline is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This Valentine’s Day, it’s vital that we are on hand when women like Clare needs to call us. But because our funding is limited and already stretched to capacity, we can’t be there for them unless you can be here for us now.
They will need us, which is why we need you.
We promise that with your donation we can be here to listen, to believe and to support women. Wouldn’t that be the greatest Valentine’s gift of all?
*100% of your donation goes to Women's Aid across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to Women's Aid. Service provider: LIKE CHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278.
**Name has been changed to protect identity.