16 Days Campaign Blog

Day 16: 100+ organisations take part in the 16 Days Campaign in Ireland

Posted on December 10, 2017

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The international campaign 16 days Opposing violence against Women is a critical opportunity for a broad and varied range of activists throughout our communities to raise awareness on this serious and often hidden issue of violence against women. Groups from all over Ireland and from countries all over the world stand united during this campaign period running from the 25th of November to the 10th of December every year, to highlight violence against women and to send a strong message out to our communities that this is not acceptable, that women and children have a right to live lives free from violence and abuse and fear within their own homes and families. That is the vision that we share.

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Permanent link | Categories: Day 1610th December 201716 Facts for 16 Days

Day 15: Women's Aid Text Service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Women

Posted on December 09, 2017

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For deaf or hard of hearing women experiencing domestic abuse, it can be even more difficult to seek support or to leave an abusive relationship. At Women’s Aid, we are committed to seeking solutions to overcome additional barriers to a deaf woman's escape.

Women’s Aid has developed a series of Irish Sign Language videos on domestic violence and help available.  These are an important step in ensuring that deaf or hard of hearing women have the same access to support as all women in situations of intimate partner violence.  This work was carried out in conjunction with the Irish Deaf Women's Group.

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Permanent link | Categories: 16 Facts for 16 Days9th December 2017Day 15

"People will always say to you 'just leave, just leave.' It's so easy to say but so difficult to do." - Nina

Posted on December 08, 2017

Nina 2

"People will always say to you 'just leave, just leave.' It's so easy to say but so difficult to do. Looking back, the best way I can describe to you, why I stayed for as long as I did, is that it's like a drug. A drug that chips away at your confidence, pushes your friends and family away and makes you feel completely isolated and out of control, like you need him, but you don't!

That is what you have to realise, you are so much stronger than you think and your life shouldn't be like this, love shouldn't cause you physical pain. You will gain your confidence back and leave. It takes time, but you can do it.

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Permanent link | Categories: Women's Voices 20178th December 2017Day 14

Guest Blog Post: Migrant women experiencing abuse face a multitude of additional barriers - Brian Killoran from the Immigrant Council of Ireland

Posted on December 08, 2017

Brian Killoran

In my early years at the Immigrant Council I was privileged to work in our Information and Support Service, assisting people to realise their rights and navigate difficult circumstances. Through that I met so many fantastic people, and some still stand out in my mind today.

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Permanent link | Categories: Guest BlogDay 148th December 2017

Day 14: We offer support in 170 languages

Posted on December 08, 2017

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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.

In 2016, Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline, responded to 493 calls from migrant women. 250 calls were facilitated in 27 languages. Some of these calls were initiated by professionals such as Gardai, refuge staff and GP’s in their quest to support women presenting to them.

82% of callers who used the Telephone Interpretation Service spoke a range of EU languages including Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese and Romania. The non-EU languages included Arabic, Mandarin and Russian.

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Permanent link | Categories: 16 Facts for 16 DaysDay 148th December 2017

"...He once threatened me "You might leave me, but you won't leave with that face," and beat me pretty badly. This photo is from that night and now I'm the one burning the memory of it.” - Annmarie

Posted on December 07, 2017

Annmarie

“It was my Christmas party and he told me I wasn't allowed go to it. I had to go, I organised it and had promised everyone I would be there. He warned me I would be punished if I disobeyed him but I didn't want to let anyone down. I waited until he left the house, and then I went. I had a horrible nervous feeling all night but I tried to enjoy myself. When I came home, he was standing in the kitchen with this smug smile on his face. I knew he had done something but couldn't imagine what. My son called me upstairs and said 'Dad's after burning all your things.'

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Permanent link | Categories: Women's Voices 20177th December 2017Day 13

Day 13: We respond to 44 calls a day on the 24hr National Freephone Helpline

Posted on December 07, 2017

Women's Aid 24hr Helpline

"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 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 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.

Our Helpline staff and volunteers answer, on average, 44 calls per day.

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Permanent link | Categories: 16 days 2017Day 1316 Facts for 16 Days

"I chose this butterfly, which I now call my freedom butterfly. You see, butterflies are things of beauty and fly without being trapped." - Bernie

Posted on December 06, 2017

Bernie

"He wanted me to get a tattoo. I got one and he got angry because it wasn't big enough. I found out that there was another woman who had a tattoo and he wanted me to be like her. There was a problem, she was petite and like a doll. Her style was very different from mine. I love my casual wear but he tried so hard to direct me towards heels and jeans with glitter and slinky tops . I began to hate going out, because what I wore became an issue and unknown to me, I was competing with a doll. The abuse was verbal, emotional and physical. I was told I was big, and the punches came when he wasn't pleased with how I looked. Here I was in my 40s getting another tattoo. He was adamant that this one had to be big. For me, it is big because the pain was bad. But he still wasn't happy because it couldn't be seen but I wanted it to be discreet.

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Permanent link | Categories: Women's Voices 2017Day 126th December 2017

Guest Blog: Out of Silence – the impact of domestic violence on women’s mental health by Orla O'Connor

Posted on December 06, 2017

Orla O'Connor

Women experiencing domestic violence often describe the mental torture caused by their abuser.

Abusive relationships have a significant negative impact to a woman’s mental health. When a woman is continually being abused by an intimate partner and put down, her autonomy and belief in herself is continually eroded. Her abuser may use her mental pain against her, accusing her of being ‘insecure’, of being ‘paranoid’, of being ‘crazy’. The cycle of abuse, physical, emotional and sexual is inherently damaging to a woman's mental health. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Guest BlogDay 126th December 2017

Day 12: Domestic abuse impacts on women's mental and physical health

Posted on December 06, 2017

Health impacts

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’s strength and resilience in the face of unimaginable abuse and fear, 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: 16 Facts for 16 Days6th December 2017Day 12

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