Older women are a substantial group seeking support from Galway-based Domestic Violence Response

Domestic Violence Response (DVR ) is a Galway City and County based service that provides information services, telephone and counselling support, advocacy support and accompaniment and educational programmes to women impacted by domestic abuse. DVR also provides a range of educational training and awareness programmes to organisations, third level colleges, community groups, secondary schools.

DVR have just received €25,000 from the Dept of Justice that will aid them in their responses to the needs of women availing of advocacy services. The increase in funding is in response to the substantial number of clients who required the service in 2022. DVR saw a 22% increase in people who approached the service in 2022. A substantial number of these were older women coming forward to avail of support for the first time.

Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR explained why the funding for advocacy is so important. “Often, dealing with an abuser can be frightening and overwhelming, and it can also be daunting to face court or legal services.” According to the 2019 Courts Services Annual report, 20,501 cases out of a total of 144,485 cases heard in the direct court were cases of domestic violence (14.18% ).

This new funding will ensure that DVR trained advocacy workers will be able to help women make applications for a protection, barring, safety, custody and/or maintenance order and it will allow them to accompany women to the criminal courts if those orders have been breached. DVR trained advocacy workers can also help women with other family law hearings including judicial separation and divorce.

The funding will ensure that women in 2023 are provided with emotional support, both before, during and after the court proceedings. Advocacy workers clarify legal terminology, help individuals to come to terms with the decision of the court and work with them to identify safety measures following the court hearing. The immediate benefit that arises from advocacy is the reduction in some unintended harms such as traumatization and retraumatization. It also improves safety and often prevents intimidation from the perpetrator.

The DVR offices are based in Moycullen, Co Galway and can be reached on 087 7737957.

 

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