No room for victims of violence - 111 women turned away from refuge

OVER 100 victims of domestic violence were turned away from the refuge run by Women's Aid Dundalk in 2010.

OVER 100 victims of domestic violence were turned away from the refuge run by Women's Aid Dundalk in 2010.

The women were refused permission to stay at the refuge due to a lack of accommodation, according to Women's Aid Dundalk Manager, Lisa Marmion.

"We did accommodate 100 women and 124 children at the refuge, but we were unable to house 111 women due to a lack of space," she said.

The helpline run by Women's Aid Dundalk received over 600 calls for help from women and children who had experienced violence in the home.

Women's Aid Dundalk also accompanied 40 women to court appearances to offer support during the court proceedings.

The service helped 94 children, who have either witnessed or been victims of domestic violence, through The Child Support Project.

"The project was launched in late 2009 and has been a great success. It provides children with the opportunity to play in a safe and secure environment," said Ms Marmion.

"Children aged from three months to 18 years are involved in the project. Meanwhile, 28 people took part in The Greater Learning Opportunities for Women scheme."

Women's Aid Dundalk is currently preparing to launch a new fundraising venture - a shop, which stocks clothes, equipment and accessories for children.

The shop, called 'Accessible', will be based at 11 Church Street, Dundalk, next to the Home Bakery. It is due to be opened on Thursday, January 13 from 10am.

"We got the idea from our experience working with families. Sometimes they come to us with no clothes or shoes," said Ms Marmion.

"We want to make it accessible to people in Dundalk to have good quality childrens' products at a reasonable price."

She added: "We are also hoping that this venture will enable us to sustain all of our services throughout the recession.

"Over the last couple of years, there has been a 35 per cent reduction in our core budget. The shop is a business venture but it also has a clear purpose.

"The money will go towards helping women and children. It will hopefully generate an extra income which will be used to tackle domestic violence."