Archive for 2015

Women's Voices - Avril

Posted on December 07, 2015


On Day 13 we share this very powerful and thoughtful personal account of abuse and survival by Avril D'Arcy who is using her own name.

"As a survivor of intimate partner abuse, people have often asked me some infuriating questions. Most commonly: ‘Why didn’t I leave?’ and ‘Why didn’t I tell anyone?’ However, when I did try to explain, many didn’t want to listen.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 13Women's Voices

Day 13: Our National Freephone Helpline offers support in over 170 languages.

Posted on December 07, 2015

Day 13

The women we support are diverse and come from all walks of life. Domestic violence can affect any woman, at any age and from any background.  Today we look at the additional barriers women from Migrant communities face.

323 callers to the National Freephone Helpline in 2014 identified that they were Migrant women and 32% of the new women we saw in 2014 in our One to One Service were migrant women.

Just over half were from other EU member states while 46% were from non EU countries.

The additional barriers faced by migrant women affected by domestic violence include:

  • the impact of the lack of independent residency status.
  • ineligibility for social protection.
  • limited access to emergency accommodation.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 1316 Facts for 16 Days

Day 12: 11,167 calls answered by the National Freephone Helpline in 2014

Posted on December 06, 2015

Day 12

In 2014, the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline answered 11,167 calls from women, family, friends, and professionals seeking support for experiences of domestic abuse. During these calls, over 20,000 disclosures of abuse of women and children were made.

"I do not think I would have got through the past two years without the support from Women’s Aid and I know I it will get me through the difficult times still ahead.” - Louise

The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline is a service for women experiencing emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse by a current or former husband, partner or boyfriend. We are also available for family, friends and professionals concerned about women living with domestic violence.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 1216 Facts for 16 Days

Day 11: Abuse increases health risks

Posted on December 05, 2015

Day 11

Women and children experiencing domestic violence should never been portrayed as passive victims. Women’s Aid continues to be inspired by the women who use our services. Women, who are trying to live their lives, raise their children, study, work, and look after themselves and others, but who are doing so while suffering the most horrific abuse.

Women like us, like our sisters, our mothers, our friends and our workmates, whose strength and resilience in the face of unimaginable abuse and fear ultimate should not be underestimated. Yet, the impact of the abuse on the women we meet cannot be minimised or downplayed.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 1116 Facts for 16 Days

Guest blog post: Safe cities for women and girls

Posted on December 04, 2015

Safe Cities

By Rodney Rice, board member of ActionAid Ireland

On Cham Da is a beer promoter in a restaurant in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. A beer promoter’s job is to encourage a man to drink more. This may mean accepting an invitation to sit beside him. Whether employed as staff or on commission the pressure is to comply. The alternative will be unemployment.

Sitting beside means physical contact. Drinking more beer may well lead to more intrusive contact. Even serving the table can bring harassment. On a recent night a customer grabbed Om Chan’s bottom as she opened a beer for him. That is sexual abuse. An indignity at the very least.

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Permanent link | Categories: Guest blog post

Women's Voices - Clare

Posted on December 04, 2015

Young woman picture for website

Clare* recently sent us her story, in her own words, to share with you as part of our One in Five Women campaign during the International 16 Days of Action.  Today, Day 10, we are highlighting that domestic violence can happen in young, dating relationships.  

What Clare's story shows us just how easy it is to become trapped in an abusive relationship and how hard it is to see the warning signs. Clare also had a very difficult experience when trying to leave her abuser but with the help of family and support from Women's Aid, she and her daughter are happy and safe today.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 10

Day 10: 60% of abuse starts before the age of 25

Posted on December 04, 2015

Day 10

In a national survey on domestic violence in Ireland, almost 60% of people who were severely abused said that the abuse started when they were under 25 years old.

Women's Aid hears from young women when their relationship starts to feels unhealthy, often after something has happened that may have made women feel unsafe or uncomfortable. When it feels like he is just 'too into you'. We also hear from women who have been living with domestic violence for some time that the signs that their partners were possessive and controlling were there from the start. But to them and their family and friends, it appeared like they were just 'so into her'.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 1016 Facts for 16 Days

Message of Support, Dr. Sam Coulter Smith,Master of the Rotunda

Posted on December 03, 2015

sam coulter smith

"I am delighted to support Women's Aid International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence against Women. Violence against women is to be deplored in all its forms and any campaign which highlights the issue of violence against women should be supported. Unfortunately violence against women is something that can and does occur in pregnancy and it is up to all of us who work in the health care services to do our best to encourage women to come forward and seek help when this occurs."

Dr. Sam Coulter Smith is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Master of the Rotunda Hospital and a clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Read more about domestic violence during pregnancy here.

Permanent link | Categories: Day 9Message of Support

Day 9: Domestic Violence During Pregnancy

Posted on December 03, 2015

Day 9

No one ever deserves to be beaten, threatened, raped and insulted. However, nowhere is domestic violence more stark or disturbing than during pregnancy. Women's Aid is deeply concerned about the prevalence of abuse of women during pregnancy and the post natal period.

Pregnancy does not offer protection to domestic violence. In fact, international research has found that 30% of women who experience domestic violence are physically assaulted for the first time during pregnancy (Child Protection and Welfare Handbook, HSE, 2011).

The Rotunda Hospital conducted research which found that 1 in 8 women surveyed were being abused during their current pregnancy (O'Donnell et all, 2000).

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 916 Facts for 16 Days

Women's voices - Ellen

Posted on December 02, 2015


As part of our Women's Voices project, collecting and sharing women's testimonies of domestic violence, we're sharing Ellen's story today.  Ellen has asked that her name is changed but that her story is told in the hope that it helps other women escape from a life of abuse.

"I was far safer with him gone. So my advice is to stop, think, find a way to escape. The longer it goes on the harder it will be to get out.  Phone Women’s Aid.  Let your family know how you are suffering and don’t put up with any of it.  There is a good life waiting for you out there.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 8

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