Speaking this week to the Athlone Advertiser as her local election campaign continues to gather momentum, Athlone SocDems candidate, Fiona Lynam, has called for better support processes for those people who suffer violence in the home.
“In the first three months of the year three women have been killed in their own homes, two women died in the first eight days of the year alone. These deaths were generally greeted with shock by the public and the media but the stories quickly faded from view meaning that, once again, nothing has changed.
“There is a silent epidemic of domestic violence against women in this country. It is not a new development but is something that is allowed to exist and fester because of the cloak of silence that covers it.
“Support for women who seek to escape domestic violence is limited. Esker House provides this vital service locally. Yet, Esker House has to struggle each year for adequate funding to keep the refuge open and comfortable for the women and children that avail of its services,” Fiona emphasised.
The Soc Dems was unequivocal in her praise of the support afforded to victims by Esker House.
“Esker House provides vital court support for women who are seeking protection from violent partners. They provide trained court liaisons to help women navigate the often-complicated court processes. Without this assistance many women would fail to secure official barring orders and other legal protections. But this is often not enough.
“We need to have more open conversations about violence against women and families and how it occurs. We need to engage more with men and women to educate everyone on what forms control and violence can take and what steps can be taken to recognise and prevent them,” Fiona remarked.
With this issue foremost in her mind, Fiona is hosting a fundraiser evening in aid of Esker House and her election campaign. The bingo and burlesque night, co-hosted by Michelle Jinks of ‘Only After Dark’, is a night to celebrate women supporting women and will include informal bingo games with prizes, a raffle and spectacular classic burlesque performances from some of Ireland’s top burlesque performers, to which all are welcome.
Tickets are €10 on the door to include one free bingo card.