Christmas to bring extra demand on women’s refuge - and more resources needed to meet it

Fifty women and 66 children found refuge at the Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge in Clonmel last year - but 154 woman and their 313 children could not be accommodated because of a lack of resources.

Fifty women and 66 children found refuge at the Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge in Clonmel last year - but 154 woman and their 313 children could not be accommodated because of a lack of resources.

More than 1,600 calls were made to the helpline, and hundreds of women received the support of outreach services and on court visits.

While the local community has always been a steadfast supporter of the Centre, as Christmas approaches the sad reality is that demand for the centre’s services will increase.

Every day, in Ireland, one in five women face domestic violence.

Like many other services the recession has impacted and the organisation continues to fundraise to meet the shortfall. They are looking forward to their annual fundraiser “Santa at the Poppyfields” which will kick off with Santa arriving at 4pm on Sunday, December 11.

Last Monday Cuan Saor joined with the Tipperary Rape Crisis & Counselling Centre (TRCCC) to hold a meet and greet morning to mark ‘16 days of activism against violence against women.’

Both Cuan Saor and the Tipperary Rape Crisis & Counselling Centre have been providing services to women children and male survivors of sexual abuse for many years.

The 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children is an international campaign. It takes place every year from November 25 to December 10. The period includes Universal Children’s Day and International Human Rights Day. On November 4 frontline domestic violence support services (including Cuan Saor) in Ireland participated in a national census co-ordinated by Safe Ireland. On census day Safe Ireland counted the number of women and children receiving support and accommodation due to domestic violence within a 24 hour period. The purpose of this census was to obtain a sense of both the magnitude of the problem in Ireland and the amount of support currently being provided. 555 women were accommodated and/or received support from a domestic violence support service, 324 children were accommodated and/or received support from a domestic violence support service; 140 Helpline calls were received from women; Seven women and nine children were admitted to refuge on this day and 18 women could not be accommodated in refuge because there was not enough space.

In 2010 Cuan Saor accommodated 50 women and 66 children in their refuge. The service responded to 1,629 helpline calls and provided 545 outreach support and information sessions, provided 146 court support visits, and like the national census 154 women and 313 children could not be accommodated in Cuan Saor in 2010.

You can contact Cuan Saor at 1800576757 or 052 6127557. TRCCC has a confidential helpline 1800 340 340 during opening hours (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 5pm and Tuesdays 9am to 4pm.)