Galway’s domestic violence refuge service is struggling to meet the demand on its services
Close to 750 women and children received support from COPE Galway’s domestic violence refuge Waterside House in Galway in 2013, while the service was unable to accommodate a further 570 women and children due to a lack of space.
That’s according to new statistics released by COPE Galway Waterside House, the only 24 hour accessible domestic violence refuge in the western region.
The service also answered 1,297 crisis calls and requests from or on behalf of women experiencing domestic violence last year.
The statistics were released in conjunction with the launch of the national Man Up campaign, which aims to highlight the positive role men can play in ending domestic violence. The campaign is being launched with an exhibition by Galway based photographer Andrea Zipoli titled ‘Leading a Change’ and takes place in Galway City Library from today, Wednesday 29 October, to Friday 7 November.
Wendy Heuston, Manager of COPE Galway Waterside House, which provides refuge accommodation and outreach support for women experiencing domestic violence in Galway City and County, said, “We are delighted to be involved in this campaign because real change in attitudes cannot be achieved by women alone – some men are part of the problem but all men can be part of the solution.”
She explained that, last year, Waterside House supported 750 women and children experiencing domestic violence, and received over 1,200 calls for support to their 24 hour helpline. “The service was unable to accommodate a further 550 women and children who were seeking refuge due to lack of space – these women were offered referral to other services.”
Ms Heuston said the charity could not begin to address this very serious issue without the involvement of everyone in Galway, including men.
“Man Up is about asking men to stand against domestic violence, to show pride and leadership, to challenge abuse and violence and to support women and children.”
Man Up is supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). This is the third year of the Man Up Campaign, which started in 2012, but it is the start of a new phase of the campaign. For more information see www.manup.ie.
Domestic violence in Galway – A snapshot of COPE Galway’s support in 2013
– 467 individual women received support from COPE Galway’s Domestic Violence support services.
– 277 individual children received support from COPE Galway’s Domestic Violence Support Services.
– 94 individual women and 104 children lived in COPE Galway’s Waterside House refuge and received accommodation and other supports.
– 1,297 helpline calls were answered by COPE Galway’s Waterside House
– Due to a lack of space, the service was unable to accommodate 574 women and children. These women had to be offered referral elsewhere in the country.