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16 Days of Action on Violence Against Women

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Clare Haven Services mark 16 Days of Action on Violence Against Women

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It aims to raise awareness and to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Clare Haven Services works to:

  • protect women and children who are already experiencing abuse and violence in the home by providing frontline services such as refuge, outreach support and advocacy in the legal and judicial systems
  • prevent it from happening to future women and children through public awareness and education
  • provide interventions by delivering resilience programmes, interagency collaboration and relevant counselling services

We could not do this work without our statutory and other funders, but more particularly the generous donations of the people from the county is crucial to us to keep our doors open. For this we are very grateful.

To raise awareness of Domestic Abuse in Clare and the supports we can offer to women experiencing it, Clare Haven Services have had stands in the following locations for people who may have questions:

  • Ennis Library on 25th November in the morning 10.30am
  • Scarriff Library on the 26th November, morning  10am
  • Killaloe Library on the 26th November afternoon 2.30pm
  • Kilrush Library 28th November Morning 10am

And will have stands in:

  • Shannon Library 9th December Morning 10am
  • Ennistymon Library on the 4th December morning 10 am

To remember the women who have been killed in Co Clare by their partners or exes, Clare Haven Services will be hosting a Candlelight Walk on the 10th of December at 6.30pm. This is a sombre, reflective walk from the Garda Station to the Court House in Ennis with some music.

Each year we look at a different theme to shine a spotlight to see can we address the cycle of violence against women that exists in Clare Society. An issue that we are looking at this year is, that despite the public awareness and interventions at an international, national and local level, we are still seeing very young women endeavouring to escape violence in the home.  Young women, between the ages of 18 and 23, may have specific vulnerabilities because their home might be tied to the violence and there is a lack of financial or statutory supports open to them to facilitate escape.

As well as the above, as young people are navigating relationships there may be less positive & healthy relationships visible for them to mirror than we might hope. A piece of work that Clare Haven Services is doing is looking at the question “Is it romantic or is it controlling?” as depicted in popular culture. In so many films, songs, TV programmes the boy/man character is encouraged to be persistent and persevere in his pursuit while the girl/woman character is depicted as being malleable so that with such perseverance she can be convinced to turn her “no” into a “yes”. The more stalker-y and outlandish the boy’s behaviour, e.g. threatening suicide, grand gestures, public humiliation in his apology –the more the girl/woman is convinced that her initial rejection is wrong. If she isn’t won over, her own peers, family and society will put pressure on her to “give him a chance” – her “No” is diminished and undermined – the lesson from the incident is that he has earned her as a reward and that “no” is a precursor to “yes” with the right conditions.

Whatever the myriad of reasons and complexity of life as to why Domestic Violence and Abuse is so prevalent in our society, Clare Haven Services, with the generous support of the people of Clare, are committed to working with the women, children and the community at large to alleviate and support those affected while campaigning to bring it to an end. We support our colleagues in Safe Ireland, daring to imagine that we can rear a generation without exposure to violence and abuse. A generation that is free to live in safe, vibrant and equal homes and communities.

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