*Mary Fitzgerald. 

AN INSPIRING STORY of a community that said no to domestic abuse is told in a new publication to be launched this week.

‘Light on the Horizon’ will be officially launched with a wine reception at The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis on Thursday (November 10th) at 6:30pm.

Edited by Sarah Harte, the book written by Madeline McAleer and Pádraig Haran marks the thirty years of Haven Horizons combating domestic abuse in the county. It will be available to purchase at the launch and after at bookshops in Clare, Limerick and Galway plus online at the Ennis Bookshop.

Sarah said, “Light on the Horizon is a must-read book, telling the gripping story of a group of women motivated to change lives, educating us on how to tackle domestic abuse and in the process dismantling the myths that surround domestic abuse”.

Ennis women Mary Fitzgerald and Colette Redington met by chance in 1992 when they both helped women who were victims of domestic abuse. Clare Haven was born and three decades later there is a refuge, second-stage houses, a full range of outreach services and education programmes are available to victims of domestic abuse in Co. Clare.

It is an enduring statistic that one in four Irish women who have been in a relationship has been abused by a current or former partner. It became clear that more needed to be done.

That was the impetus for the establishment of Haven Horizons, Colette Redington, co-founder of Clare Haven and Haven Horizons said. “We realised that if we just kept providing refuge spaces, and if you fast-forwarded twenty years, some daughters would find themselves in the same situation as their mothers. We needed to ask ourselves what we could do to break this cycle, so we set up Haven Horizons, a national education and research centre dedicated to preventing domestic abuse”.

Madeline McAleer, research, training and development director of Haven Horizons, stated, “Education is powerful, but it is using our shared knowledge to inform and influence practice, policy, and legislation that leads to structural and systemic change”.

Mary Fitzgerald, co-founder added, “So many people in County Clare have been part of this story, giving their time and energy, volunteering, holding fundraisers and doing church-gate collections. What has been achieved in Clare is living proof of the truth of Margaret Mead’s words, never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, in fact it is the only thing that ever has”.

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