Three-year wait for women’s refuge
It will be at least three years before a Women’s Refuge is open in Cavan and Monaghan, according to Siobhan McKenna, the manager of Tearmann, the domestic abuse support service
“It will take this time before we have the adequate resources to take someone on to project manage it, and develop it in line with proper guidelines, as well as the level of resources needed to develop it. I would hope in 2024 to see definite progress on it, but it will be 2027 or 2028 by the time it is people are able to avail of the refuge services.”
Despite this projection, she says it is hoped other accommodation options will be in place before then.
“In the meantime, we hope to have safe houses in the community and other responses for accommodation. It’s a long time to wait, but there will be more options. We’re looking at options where people will be housed in their own communities with their families but still have support if they have an order in place. We also hope that there will be a provision for both women or men who are fleeing domestic violence in the government housing strategy.”
Ms McKenna also said more funding is required to help those in need.
“As well as developing a refuge, we need funds for advanced wrap-around services, as well as more resources for working with children, as well as healthy relationship programmes. Unless we have the proper resources, then the people who are suffering from domestic violence in our communities won’t get the proper help. We want anyone who needs help and decides to step forward for it to know that there will be a community there to listen, support them and be ready to create meaningful change.”
Ms McKenna also said that public discussions about domestic abuse provide a chance to let victims know that there is support available.
“We know that domestic abuse thrives in secrecy. It gives people who have never spoken up, whether it’s men or women the chance to do so.”
She also called for more awareness in communities around domestic abuse.
“There’s an opportunity for all of us to become more aware of domestic violence, and how people are affected by it and to be there for when people step forward. It can be difficult to seek help, especially if you’re well-known in the community. There’s a responsibility on all organisations to step forward, whether it’s public, private, sports, music, or social club to step forward and educate their members.”