This Valentine’s week, COPE Galway Domestic Violence and Outreach Service were back on campus at NUIG and GMIT to raise awareness among young people of the signs of an abusive relationship.
The outreach service, operating from the refuge at Waterside House, offers information to third level students and took part in the annual NUIG and GMIT sexual health week (‘SHAG WEEK’ ) to raise awareness on the issue of Dating Abuse within an intimate relationship.
They handed out wristbands and information leaflets and continue to be available to talk to anyone with concerns for themselves, a family member or a friend who they may be worried about.
“Women who have experienced Domestic Violence say that information on Dating Abuse as teenagers could have helped them to recognise the early signs of an abusive relationship”, explains Ciara Tyrrell, from COPE Galway Domestic Violence Refuge and Outreach Service.
“Our aim”, she says, “is to support students to identify the warning signs of an abusive relationship, in particular the more subtle controlling behaviours that are not so obvious in the initial stages of a relationship.”
Research* carried out with women who have experienced Domestic Abuse identified that low self-esteem and a lack of information are important indicators of vulnerability to future abuse. Loneliness and pressure to conform can all contribute to young people being vulnerable to abuse within a relationship and current dangers surrounding internet use is an added difficulty for young people when trying to leave an abusive relationship.
To view the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and for more information visit http://www.copegalway.ie/domestic-violence-faqs/ifeel or contact COPE Galway Domestic Violence Refuge & Outreach Service at 091-565985.