This year has been a tough year for many, especially those who experience domestic and sexual violence.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in domestic and sexual violence around the world and in Ireland. Safe Ireland’s report, “Tracking the Shadow Pandemic” found that 1,970 women and 411 children received support from a domestic violence service every month during the first six months of Covid-19. The report also found a stark number of unmet requests for refuge with 1,351 requests for refuge – or 7 requests every day – that were not met as there was no space available.

Today marks the start of the 16 days of Action, an international campaign challenging violence against women and girls.

Bridgie Collins, a Traveller Women’s Awareness Worker working as part of a Tusla funded pilot project in Pavee Point said, “During this pandemic – now more than ever- we need to speak up about violence against women and make sure women in our communities can access information about services and supports.

“We know Traveller women face a lot of barriers to information and services. We also know that too often in all communities the focus is placed on the victim and not the abuser. Men and women all have a role to play in challenging abusive behaviour and ending domestic violence. Today we in Pavee Point and in our community stand against domestic violence.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and sexual violence, there is help out there. Domestic and sexual violence services, An Garda Siochana and Court Services are still operating through the pandemic.

Women’s Aid: 1800 341 900

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 77 8888

An Garda Síochána: 999

Local domestic violence services: https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/