Women’s Aid has five clear areas of focus creating the structure for us to end violence against women in Ireland.
1. Promoting healthy relationships
Violence against women is not inevitable. All forms of violence against women are preventable. By preventing abuse and focusing on supporting people to understand and live healthy relationships, we can build a different world.
Too Into You
Our award-winning Too Into You campaign and research targeted at an often neglected group of young people from 18 – 25, focuses on informing what a healthy intimate relationship looks like, and provides support and information to women suffering abuse.
Advocating for Improved Education
We are helping to shape Ireland’s new SPHE and RSE curriculum. Education and awareness raising are key forms of prevention. Schools have an essential role to play in promoting gender equality and preventing intimate relationship abuse.
Power to Change
For women who have been free from their abuser for a year or more, we provide the Power to Change programme. This free 12-week psychoeducational course empowers women as they recover from their experience of abuse, and helps them to understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
2. Strategic research
Everything we do is underpinned by fundamental, evidence-based research. Through research we quantify and measure our impact. Research impact is real change in the real world.
We record and track cases of femicide to illustrate the danger posed to women and to better understand how to increase protection of women and children.
We commission research to better understand and tackle areas of inequality and need that affect abused women and children, and provide vital empirical evidence.
3. Frontline services
Women’s Aid was set up in 1974 to provide a response for women and children who faced devastating abuse with no support and no laws to protect them. We continue to develop and evolve our life-preserving frontline services to meet the growing needs of women and children across Ireland.
National Frontline Services
- The National Freephone Helpline – Available 24 hours a day, covering over 200 languages and always free.
- Instant Messaging Support Service – fully trained helpline workers provide support through instant message. It’s national, free, confidential and secure.
- High Risk Support Project – Working closely with An Garda Síochána, the Vodafone Foundation and local domestic violence services, we deliver a coordinated rapid response system for women and their children who are at high-risk of ongoing violence, abuse and homicide.
Regional Frontline Services: Greater Dublin Area
- One-to-one service – providing in-depth information and face-to-face support to women subjected to domestic violence
- Court Support – offering free and confidential drop-in service for women subjected to abuse and violence, located within the Dolphin House Family Law Court, Dublin.
- Maternity Outreach Service – provide support, information and advocacy to women who are subjected to domestic abuse and who are receiving maternity care
- Practical Assistance for Women – providing practical assistance directly to women who are engaged with our face- to-face services and who are facing financial hardship and/or in need of support to increase their security at home or legal costs because of domestic abuse.
4. Specialist training and policy support
Knowing how to respond appropriately can make a significant difference to reducing the isolation and risks to women and children living with the dangers of domestic abuse. Through specialist training we aim to inform people who may contribute to enhancing the safety of women.
We design and deliver domestic violence and abuse training to local and national organisations of all types, nationwide. We support organisations to enhance and improve responses to women who are subjected to domestic violence and abuse.
- Training for organisations
- Training for individuals
- Employer response to domestic abuse training
- Maternity Project
5. Whole community activation
Creating long-lasting change for women and children who face violence means to create fundamental change across society and how we, the people of Ireland, think about domestic violence and abuse.
As a national organisation, we lead the way in raising awareness and providing information on domestic violence and abuse to victims and survivors, their families and friends, their communities and wider society.
Communications and Campaigns
Through campaigns such as Too Into You, 16 Days of Action, and World’s Strongest Women, we target vulnerable communities often unseen and neglected. We are proactive in the media to highlight the prevalence, nature and impact of domestic violence and abuse. We take a leadership role to maximise the focus of internationally recognised days, such as International Women’s Day and the UN Day Opposing Violence against Women.
Influencing and changing policy and legislation through advocacy
We advocate for the women and children who cannot be seen or heard. We use our voice with government and policymakers to help bring about social and political change, sharing our expertise and providing solution-based recommendations to create lasting positive social impact.