Category Archives: Media Coverage

Domestic Violence Special Feature, Glow Magazine

GLOW, Ireland’s No.1 Health and Lifestyle Magazine have included an excellent four page special feature on domestic violence in the December/January edition, now in all good newsagents.

The article explores the impact of the recession on women living with domestic violence and steps to guard against financial abuse.  The article goes on to look at how we can help a friend who is experiencing domestic violence.

The article finished with an outline of how Women’s Aid can help women who are being abused as well as ways readers can support the 16 Days of Action Campaign.

Pick up your copy today.

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Near 90 FM 16 Days Broadcasts

This year near 90fm joins the 16 Days Campaign with A Woman’s Voice, a Sound And Vision funded project that wants to highlight the role of women in society. All programmes can be heard on nearfm.ie.

A Woman’s Voice consists of two panel discussion, the first of which was broadcast on the 25th of November with thePanelist: Bronwen Maher (Labour Party); Nell Fitzpatricks of the Older Women’s Network and Elaine King of neartv productions. The second panel discussion will be broadcast on December 10th, with participation from Women’s Aid.

Near90fm will be broadcasting a testimonial everyday at noon for the duration of the 16 Days and will be available as podcasts on the website. Here are a few of the women participating:

25th November. Niamh Farren, Banúlacht’s chairperson.

26th November: Frances Soney-Ituen, founder of the Women’s Integrated Network (WIN), Athy.

27th November: Maeve Taylor, Banúlacht’s Policy and Training Project Leader.

28th November: Nobuhle Ncube, AkiDwA’s Development Officer.

29th November: Salome Mbugua, AkiDwA’s Director.

30th November: Bernie Dwyer, journalist with Radio Habana, Cuba.

1st December: Shanti Dairiam, former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

2nd December: Nell Fitzpatricks, member of the Older Women’s Network, OWN.

3rd December: Thabi Madide, the Africa Centre.

4th December: Bronwen Maher (Labour Party).

5th December: Hazel Abdullah,member of the Older Women’s Network, OWN.

6th December: Heidi Bedell (Green Party).

 

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Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Social Affairs calls for new measures to protect women from the violence of trafficking

To mark the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25th November 2009 ,the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (advisory body to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference) calls on the Government to;

  • Create a national vice-squad within An Garda Síochána to track down the traffickers and rescue their victims. Whilst a specialist team exists in Dublin, this should be a national squad to counteract the use of modern technology, such as mobile phones and the internet, which facilitates the anonymity of the perpetrators of this crime, and consequently of its victims.
  • Put in place stronger measures, as advocated by Ruhama and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, to address the demand for “sexual services” that drives the trafficking of women and young girls into Ireland for sexual exploitation. Those who purchase “sexual services” should be criminalised, while the women and girls found to be providing such “services” should be offered support and assistance.
  • Ratify international legislation, specifically the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000) and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005), that would enshrine our commitment as a nation to providing the highest possible level of protection and support for the victims of trafficking.
  • Protect the existing programmes in developing countries, supported by Irish Aid, that address the factors that cause women and girls to fall victims to traffickers. Consideration should also be given to the possibility for further expansion of this work in programmes specifically targeted at the prevention of trafficking.

Further information is available here

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Women’s Aid Call for Increased Legal Protection for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence.

At the launch of the 16 Days of Action Campaign outside Dáil Éireann yesterday, Women’s Aid used a striking visual installation to highlight the underside of intimate relationships for one in every five women in Ireland.  Five women, dressed in black and red, held placards reading ‘?’.  The question mark showed that domestic violence, often described as the most democratic of crimes, can affect any woman, and women from any walk of life. The five women were surrounded by others who held placards posing questions like: ‘Is she your sister?’, ‘Is she your mother?’ ‘Is she your friend?’.  Women’s Aid drew attention to the fact that many women are not protected from violence by current domestic violence legislation. 

Speaking at the event, Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid said: “On the UN Day Against Violence against Women, we are highlighting the fact that one in every five women living in Ireland today are living in fear of those closest to them – their boyfriends, husbands and partners.  Domestic violence does not discriminate by age, socio-economic status, marital status or cultural background.  It can affect any woman.”

She continued: “Women’s Aid statistics show that marriage is the most common context for domestic abuse and married women experiencing abuse can avail of the full protection of the law.  However, 28% of women who rang the Women’s Aid Helpline in 2008 disclosed abuse by current or former partners to whom they were not married (18% current partner and 10% former partner).  While many women will meet the strict criteria and are eligible to apply for domestic violence orders, many women who experience domestic violence cannot avail of legal protection from the violence because they do not meet the current co-habitation requirements for domestic violence orders.  This includes women who are in dating relationships, not married to or living with their abuser, and women who have only lived with or have separated from their abuser for certain lengths of time.”

 “Also, we know from women ringing our Helpline that abuse often does not end when the relationship does. 10% of callers to the Women’s Aid Helpline disclosed that they were being abused by former partners to whom they were not married. It is a common belief that leaving an abusive partner will end the violence but in many cases the opposite is true.  These women are very vulnerable.”

One woman who called the helpline recently revealed that she is living in fear of her ex-boyfriend months after she ended the abusive relationship.  According to Karen*: “He was totally controlling and possessive.  I was very frightened of him.  After I told him it was over it just got worse – constant texting, waiting for me after work, following me everywhere I went.  He was threatening me and was physically violent.  People were telling me to go to court and get a safety order to protect myself.  But I found out very quickly that I was not eligible because I had not lived with or been married to Jim.  I was so shocked and angry, I felt really let down. I don’t feel safe anywhere anymore. If I had gotten a safety order at the beginning then Jim would have known that what he was doing to me would have serious consequences for him – that the courts would deal with him.  But now it seems that it is just me, on my own, and that is just the way Jim wants it.  I don’t have any peace.”

Ms Martin concluded: “Domestic violence legislation needs to change to reflect 21st century Irish life and we call for the removal of all cohabitation requirements.  This will ensure that those experiencing domestic violence in dating relationships and after separation will be eligible to apply for domestic violence orders.  Until it does, women like Karen and thousands more like her will continue to live in fear and the law is powerless to protect them.”

*Karen’s story is based on real accounts as told to Women’s Aid.  Specific details and circumstances have been changed in the interest of protecting identity and to preserve the confidential nature of Women’s Aid Services.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE EVENT
The launch of the 16 Days Campaign has been widely covered in the media over the last few days.  We will post a comprehensive look at media coverage tomorrow but here is a short round up in the meantime:

News on Two, RTE 2, 25th November 2009 (11.08 mins)

Many Women Still At Risk of Domestic Violence – The Irish Times, 26th November 2009

Local Coverage of the 16 Days Campaign

Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign Launched, The Longford Leader, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Domestic Violence Highlighted, The Offaly Express, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Tuam’s 16 Days of Action, Western People, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Rugby Star Rob Kearney Backs White Ribbon Campaign, Dundalk Democrat, Wednesday 25th November 2009

This is a great start to the campaign and we will keep you posted of any further coverage.

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Green Party Deputy Leader Mary White supports the 16 Days campaign

Green Party Deputy Leader and Women’s Affairs spokesperson Mary White TD has welcomed the start of an international campaign to stop violence against women. The 16 Days Campaign began yesterday and aims to raise awareness and help break the silence about domestic violence in the home.

Deputy White said: “Violence against women remains one of the greatest and most common rights abuses today. Research has shown that one in five women in Ireland experience sexual violence as adults yet only 15% of these incidents will end in conviction.

“In 2008 there were over 15,000 incidents of domestic violence disclosed to the Womens’ Aid National Helpline. And disturbingly, one in eight women surveyed in a Dublin Maternity hospital had experienced domestic violence during pregnancy.

“During this campaign we must acknowledge the great work that volunteers in call centres and support centres do every day across Ireland. NGOs providing crisis and support services to women experiencing gender based violence must be adequately funded if we are to make any progress on the issue.

“As a Government TD I will be working to ensure the best supports are available for women suffering in troubled and violent relationships, particularly during this time of economic downturn when statistics show that violence can increase in the home when there are strains on the family income.”

Further information available here



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Drive Time addresses Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

This week, Fergus Finlay did his weekly Drive Time (RTE Radio 1) column on Domestic Violence and Pregnancy. You can find his recording here: http://url.ie/2y0k (at 1:07:17 into the recording).

To learn more about Domestic Violence and Pregnancy, download our Briefing Note here: Domestic Violence and Pregnancy, and you can sign up for the 16 Facts for 16 Days Email Campaign by emailing 16days@womensaid.ie or calling 01-8684721.

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Domestic Violence Special, December issue of The Irish Tatler.

The December edition of The Irish Talter, Ireland’s leading women’s monthly magazine, has a fantasitc 5 page special on domestic violence and the 16 Days Campaign of Action.  The feature looks at the issue that affects 1 in 5 women in Ireland, they types of abuse it includes, how it affects young women, signs of an abusive relationship and the impact of the recession on women experiencing abuse. 

The article carries useful information on services available to women living with domestic violence as well as advice for friends and family women who are supporting a loved one.  

The article carries messages of support for the campaign from Mary Robinson, Claire Byrne, Sinead Desmond, Laura Whitmore and Rebecca Miller.

The piece also carries Maria*’s story of experiencing abuse at the hands of her fiancé and her journey to a life free from abuse.

“I genuinely believed I was worthless two years ago.  I always thought that abuse was just physical but the verbal abuse almost killed me.  I’m so happy I came through it.”

Pick up your copy of the Irish Tatler today, and at only €2 it is very reasonable in these recessionary times.

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