Category Archives: Message of Support

Day 16, final day of the 16 Days of Action Campaign!

Today is Day 16 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign, Human Rights Day,  and here are some of the events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Near 90 FM’s “A Woman’s Voice” Broadcast
  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display
  • The final Art Workshop of the series will take place in Kildare
  • The final Wellness Workshop of the series will also take place in Kildare
  • Tipperary hosts Human Rights Based Training

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

There are also lots of messages of support for the Campaign from a variety of important Irish people and organisations, and from some international organisations, explaining why the 16 Days Campaign is so important to each of them. Use these events and campaigns to get involved yourself, and share the information with your friends and family!

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Sinead Desmond, Presenter, Ireland AM, TV3, supports the 16 Days Campaign

Domestic abuse is something we are still afraid to talk about in Ireland. But Women’s Aid is changing that. Their helpline offers real support and the chance to leave behind a life of violent abuse to women who feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Thanks to Women’s Aid, women who are victims of domestic abuse can become survivors of domestic abuse. Whether it be physical or mental or both, whether there are children involved or not.

Domestic abuse is completely and totally unacceptable. No Irish woman should feel they have to remain in a relationship in which they are being abused.

Every year thousands of women pick up the phone and call Women’s Aid and receive the advice, support and knowledge to enable them to start a new life free from the abuse that they have been subjected to.

Domestic abuse happens every day in Ireland, one in five of us will at some stage of our lives be a victim of it. Yet because of the nature of the abuse the average woman will be hit or beaten 35 times before she seeks help; this is not a reflection on the women. Domestic violence is only the fault of the perpetrator, nobody but the men who choose to beat, rape and abuse their wives, girlfriends and partners are to blame for the brutality experienced in one in five Irish homes.

And the fact that women will remain in violent relationships for often long periods of time is due to the all consuming and very real fear that victims live in. Many women are convinced that they will be killed if they even try to leave. Many do not get the chance to leave. Of the 159 female murders in Ireland over the last 13 years over half of the resolved cases were committed by a current or former partner. Every year Irish men subject Irish women to the most awful abuse, and if it were not for organisations like Women’s Aid these women would have nowhere to turn. Thankfully because Women’s Aid reaches out to them they do.

Many of us have seen women struggle to escape domestic abuse and for those of you who have not you may not realise it but chances are you already know someone who is a victim of abuse. It might be one of your friends, a family member or a work colleague. So domestic abuse is an issue for all women, not just those living in fear, which is why I wholeheartedly support the Women’s Aid 16 Days of Action Campaign.

It is time for us to talk about what goes on behind closed doors and to put an end to the abuse. No women should ever have to suffer domestic abuse. But there is life after an abusive relationship, and Women’s Aid helps women to make that journey. If you or someone you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse phone the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 7 Days a week 10am – 10pm. You can make it all end now, just pick up the phone.

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Guest blog from Amanda Kelly, Co-ordinator of Laois branch of Amnesty International

 

My name is Amanda Kelly and I am the Co-Ordinator of the Laois branch of Amnesty International. We are supporting Women’s Aid ’16 Days’ campaign. We are part of two events taking place during the 16 days.

On November 30th, Amnesty Ireland’s Executive Director, Colm O’Gorman came to Portlaoise to address Laois County Councillors at their monthly Council Meeting. He asked them to support the call for a Women’s Refuge in the County. The idea was warmly welcomed by the County Councillors. A motion was then passed at that meeting that Laois County Council would advocate the provision of a Women’s Refuge in the county, enabling victims of domestic violence to seek shelter within their own county.  The County Manager is requested to engage with the H.S.E. to pursue the matter.

Yesterday, December 8th saw Laois Amnesty support Laois Support Services for Domestic Violence’s “March of Hope”. The event will started at 3.45 p.m., convening at the Garda Station in Portlaoise and proceeding to the Courthouse. At 4 o’clock, a minute’s silence was observed for the 159 women who died as a result of violence in Ireland since 1996. 159 balloons were released to mark each of their lives. Candles and “Stop Violence Against Women” banners were also carried at the event. I’m glad to say that our event was very well attended. Laois Support Services for Domestic Abuse are an essential and vital element in supporting and assisting victims of domestic abuse in County Laois.    

Continued good wishes with the wonderful work you do. Through your website, you provide groups such as ours, the benefit of your knowledge and statistics, which we can use to raise awareness of your organisation at any ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ event we run locally throughout the year.

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Angela O’Neill De Guilio , Regional Director, Concern Worldwide, supports the 16 Days Campaign

 

“Concern Worldwide would like to congratulate Women’s Aid for your annual campaign to raise awareness of the reality of domestic violence and to push for positive change to make women safer in their own homes.  

Violence against women is all pervasive yet very much under recognized as a human rights violation.  In our work internationally, it is a problem of extreme magnitude.  We see that the nature and extend of violence can vary across cultures and countries.  Forms of violence include female genital mutilation, honour killings, acid throwing and dowry killings to name but a few.  Some forms of violence such as domestic violence and rape are endemic across cultures and social strata but violence also has close links with poverty.

For millions of women and girls living in poverty experiencing violence is their reality as they struggle to survive, there are often forced into transactional sex in order to pay for food or school fees, This increases their vulnerability to HIV and other health related problems.

A study conducted by Concern in Malawi found a significant level of violence against girls in school. Violence against young girls attending school is an enormous issue in developing countries. It is not surprising that parents keep their children at home, depriving them of an education because of the fear of violence, that may take place in school or on the way to and from school.

WHO estimates that globally 150 million girls have been raped and suffered other forms of sexual violence. We know that conflict exacerbates the situation further with rape a significant feature of conflicts.  

Concern’s experience informs us that we cannot address poverty without addressing the underlying causes of gender inequality, which is undoubtedly at the root cause of violence against women.  Concern is working with women’s self help groups, which may have an initial focus on economic empowerment leading women to increasing access to resources and decision making in their household whilst also positively impacting on the self esteem and status . The approach requires that the men of the household are engaged with the project.  Engaging men is considered an essential ingredient to bringing about lasting change. 

It is essential that a commitment to ending violence against women exists at all levels from government to institutions at community and family level.   Women and girls need to be empowered to stand up and report violence but a supportive and enabling environment where men are actively engaged and support real change must also exist for action to be taken and change to take place.

The 16 Days of Action is an opportunity to create awareness and renew our commitment to ending violence against women and girls.  Many of Concern’s country teams are carrying out activities and events over the 16 Days.   All our equality champions in our 28 countries of operation will receive the 16 facts for 16 days. Our website will feature the campaign and provide updates from our country programmes; briefing sessions will be held with our staff to create awareness and learn from experiences in other countries.

We are delighted to join with you in this campaign to end violence against women.”

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Day 14 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign

Today is Day 14 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign and here are some of the events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Information Stand and Ribbon Display in McDonagh Junction, Kilkenny
  • The ‘Lantern Experience’ in Belmullet
  • March of Hope in Portlaoise
  • Near 90 FM’s “A Woman’s Voice” Broadcast
  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

There are also lots of messages of support for the Campaign from a variety of important Irish people and organisations, and from some international organisations, explaining why the 16 Days Campaign is so important to each of them. Use any of these events and campaigns as a way to get involved yourself, and share the information with your friends and family!

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Laura Whitmore, Presenter MTV supports the 16 Days Campaign

“I have always been an advocate of women’s equality even before I acted as Woman’s Equality officer on my student’s union in college. I’ve learned that domestic violence can happen in any age bracket or social group. ‘One in five women in Ireland experience domestic violence’ – that means whether we realise it or not someone we know has been affected by it. Scary but true.

The work and awareness raised by Women’s Aid is vital in supporting the many women who experience violence behind closed doors.  It is disgusting to think that so many women suffer at the hands of those closest to them. This campaign gives silenced women a voice and I am delighted to support it in any way I can.

On 25th November 2009, we will mark the 10th anniversary of the UN recognition of this day for the elimination of violence against women. This is a time for us not only to contemplate the progress made towards combating domestic violence but  also for us to consider the sobering reality that there still remains much work to be done.”

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Denise Charlton, CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland supports the 16 Days

 

“As a society, we cannot ignore the issue of domestic violence when the Women’s Aid Helpline was contacted by over 15,000 women in 2008 who reported physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. The annual Women’s Aid 16 Facts for 16 Days campaign plays an important role in reminding us of the continuing reality of violence against women in our society.

A particular focus for the Immigrant Council of Ireland is the trafficking of women into Ireland for sexual exploitation. In April 2009, we published the results of research which identified 102 women trafficked into or through Ireland between January 2007 and September 2008. The research examined the highly lucrative sex industry in Ireland and the experience of the women exploited within it. It revealed the horrific violence and control mechanisms to which these women are subjected including systematic sexual exploitation and rape. The stories of these women are stories of captivity, isolation, shame, betrayal and violence.

Day 12 of the 16 Days Campaign deals with Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. We hope that the messages on this day regarding the shocking reality of human trafficking will spur many on to take action on this cause. During 2010, the Immigrant Council of Ireland will continue to advocate for appropriate service provision for women who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation to enable them to safely escape their dreadful situations of exploitation. We will also be launching a campaign to criminalise the purchase of sex as we believe that only by tackling the demand for paid sex in Ireland will be able to successfully reduce the numbers of women being trafficked to Ireland for sexual exploitation.”

 

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