President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina welcome the staff,volunteers and board of Women's Aid to the Arás an Uachtaráin to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in 2014.
We work to make women and children safe from domestic violence, offer support, provide hope to women affected by abuse and work for justice and social change. Over the course of 40 years the organisation has built up a huge body of experience and expertise on the issue, enabling us to best support women and children and share this knowledge with other agencies responding to women experiencing domestic violence.
Since our foundation in 1974, there has been a profound shift in social, cultural and political attitudes towards abused women in Ireland. Women's Aid has played a crucial part in this shift. Our direct services to women have been supported by our efforts to change and improve societal and political responses to domestic violence. Our ultimate aim is to stop domestic violence and make women and children safe.
Our Direct Services for women experiencing domestic violence underpin and inform all of our work to end domestic violence.
The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides support and information to callers experiencing abuse from intimate partners.
The Women's Aid Helpline is the only free, national, domestic violence helpline with specialised trained staff, fully accredited by The Helplines Association and with a Telephone Interpretation Service facility covering 170 languages for callers needing interpreting services.
Women's Aid also offers a Dublin-based One to One Support Service. Our Support Services Team provide more in-depth one to one information and support, Monday to Friday, in six locations throughout Dublin and its surrounding areas including:
The Support Services Team also offer a Court Accompaniment Service, which provides advocacy and support specific to the particular needs of women seeking legal redress regarding violence by a current or former husband or partner.
Women's Aid operates the Dolphin House Support and Referral Service, in partnership with the Dublin 12 Domestic Violence Service and Inchicore Outreach Centre in the Dublin District Family Law Court in Dolphin House.
Women's Aid also refers women to local domestic violence refuges and support services around the country.
In addition to our Direct Services, Women's Aid acts for justice and social change by engaging in policy, representation and communications and campaigns activity at a national level. Women's Aid also provides extensive information and statistics on domestic violence in print and online.
We also provide specialised training on responding to domestic violence.
It is our sincere hope that by increasing understanding and awareness of domestic violence we will improve societal responses to, and increase protection for, women and children affected by abuse.