Blog Archive

Day Seven: Children see abuse

Posted on December 01, 2014

Day 7

The majority of children living in a home where domestic violence is present are affected by the abuse. Children are victims of domestic violence both when directly targeted by the perpetrator of abuse and when witnessing the violence directed at their mother. Research has shown that there is a connection between domestic violence and child abuse and that witnessing the abuse is in itself a form of emotional abuse. (Listening to Children: Children's Stories of Domestic Violence, Hogan, F. and O'Reilly M, Office of the Minister For Children, 2007)

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Permanent link | Categories: Day Seven16 Facts for 16 Days1st December 2014

Remembering stolen lives - Debbie, Trevor and Cillian

Posted on November 30, 2014

Remembering Stolen Lives Womens Aid-9

Debbie Fox was 30 years old when she and her sons were murdered by her husband in July 2001.  Debbie, who was originally from Dublin but who settled in Westmeath with her family after buying a local shop and petrol station, was described as a popular woman.  Her children were well settled into the local school.

On the morning of 28th July 2001 Debbie and her two sons, Trevor (9) and Cillian (7) were found brutally murdered in their home.  Gardaí who arrived on the scene described it as horrific.  Debbie was beaten and stabbed repeatedly in the kitchen of her home. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Remembering stolen lives30th November 2014

Day Six: Children are abused

Posted on November 30, 2014

Day 6

Domestic violence continues to be a very common context in which children experience abuse, with the abuser of the mother being the abuser of the children. Research shows that the more severe the domestic violence is against the mother, the higher the risk of abuse against the children in the home.

In 2013, there were 3,207 disclosures of direct child abuse to the Women’s Aid Helpline.

2,836 disclosures of direct emotional abuse and 260 disclosures where children were physically or sexually abused by the perpetrator of their mother’s abuse. In addition, there were 111 disclosures where children were abused during access visits.

The abusive tactics used against children living in domestic violence situations disclosed to the National Freephone Helpline in 2013 include:

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Permanent link | Categories: Day Six16 Facts for 16 Days30th November 2014

Guest blog post: Orla O'Connor of the National Women's Council of Ireland

Posted on November 29, 2014

NWCI Blog Orla O'Connor

The National Women’s Council of Ireland was founded in 1973, and Women’s Aid has been providing domestic violence services since 1974. Yet here we are, in 2014, with one in five women as victims of domestic violence, with only one third the recommended refuge spaces for victims, and with no real effort to locate responses to violence against women within a gender equality framework.

Domestic violence strikes at the core of women’s inequality, and cannot be separated from the patriarchal culture, institutions and structures in which we live and work. Men’s violence against women is engrained in society to such an extent that women get sexually harassed in the street, rape culture prevails and we have yet to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention.

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Permanent link | Categories: Guest blog post29th November 2014

Day Five: Domestic abuse takes many forms

Posted on November 29, 2014

Day 5

Domestic abuse is not a once off event, but rather a pattern which escalates over time, and includes multiple forms of abuse: emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse.  

We often hear from women that what felt like positive attention and attentiveness at the beginning of a relationship, turned into negative, controlling behaviour as the relationship became more established and it was harder to leave.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day Five29th November 201416 Facts for 16 Days

Day Four: Tanaiste Joan Burton gives support to the 16 Days campaign

Posted on November 28, 2014

Joan Burton

During the time I spent in Africa, later as Minister with responsibility for Development Co-operation and Overseas Aid and currently as Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection in Ireland I am constantly reminded of the invaluable support that organisations such as Women’s Aid provide to women and their children living in very difficult situations because of violence.  Violence against women is a human rights abuse and a crime that must not be tolerated.  

As Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party, I will make every effort in Government to address this violation of human rights.  I wish Women’s Aid a successful campaign again this year.   

Permanent link | Categories: Day FourMessage of Support28th November 2014

Day Four: Domestic abuse is hidden

Posted on November 28, 2014

Day 4

The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline (1800 341 900) responds to over 17,000 calls every year. This figure is shocking but we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. National research conducted by the National Crime Council in 2005 on domestic abuse in Ireland found that only a small percentage of the women surveyed had accessed support from a Helpline or support service. The same research found that 1 in 7 women or approximately 213,000 have suffered severe domestic violence.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day Four28th November 201416 Facts for 16 Days

Remembering Stolen Lives - Sarah, Alica, Reece and Amy

Posted on November 27, 2014

Remembering Stolen Lives Womens Aid-1

Sarah, aged 25 and her children Reece (3) and Amy (5 months) and her friend Alicia (20).

Sarah Hines was aged 25 when she was murdered in her own home alongside her two little children, Reece aged 3 and Amy, just 5 months old.  Her friend, Alicia Bough aged 20 who was visiting was also killed.  All four victims were violently stabbed to death in Newcastle West, Limerick on Monday 15th November 2010.  Sarah and her children had recently moved to a new home and were settling in well after she ended her relationship with John Geary. Sarah was described by her family and someone who ‘lit up the world’. Sarah’s ex-partner John Geary was arrested on 16th November. He was later charged in connection with all four deaths and was remanded in custody.  

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Permanent link | Categories: Remembering Stolen Lives27th November 2014

Day Three: One in every two female homicide victims murdered by partner or ex-partner.

Posted on November 27, 2014

Day 3

Of the 204 women murdered in Ireland since 1996, 78 women (53% of resolved cases) were killed by those closest to them - a current or former husband, partner or boyfriend.  That is 1 in every 2 women killed in Ireland by a current or former intimate partner where the case has been resolved.

Threats to kills and attempts to kill are a common feature of domestic violence and leave many women living in a constant state of fear. The tragic reality is that some women pay the ultimate price of their lives.

Research conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK has found that killing by a partner is the form of homicide which most women are most at risk of.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day Three27th November 201416 Facts for 16 Days

Remembering Stolen Lives- Martina

Posted on November 26, 2014

Remembering Stolen Lives Women's Aid

Martina, aged 33, murdered May 1996.

Martina Halligan was aged 33 when she was murdered by her husband in May 1996.  She was attacked in her home in North Dublin.  It emerged during the trial that Martina had married her husband two years before her death but that the relationship had gone ‘sour’.  Martina had made complaints to the Gardaí about her husband’s violence and she was in the process of securing a barring order when she was murdered. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Remembering Stolen Lives26th November 2014

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