One in 4 women in Ireland experience domestic violence, and we know that during COVID-19 restrictions the situation has intensified for many women.
To support Traveller women, Pavee Point’s Violence Against Women Programme is launching a leaflet and video giving Traveller women clear information on Safety and Barring Orders and the steps to take to get one. This information is Traveller specific and was developed through working with Traveller Women’s Awareness Workers in Dublin, Cork, Wicklow and Carlow.
Speaking at the launch Senator Eileen Flynn said it was very positive to see Traveller women reaching out to other Traveller women. “We know the needs of our own community – the realities and the fears. And we are best placed to help develop resources for our community.
“The legal system is hard for anyone to navigate – never mind if you’re a woman that cannot read well and with very little education on the different systems of the state. This leaflet and video will be an important reference for Traveller women.”
“Many Traveller women don’t know about the legal protections that are there,” explains Tessa Collins, Community Development Worker, Pavee Point Violence Against Women programme. “We want to let women know how they can protect themselves and what steps they need to take when getting protection.
“We identified a need for these materials for our community, and we wanted this resource to be made in a way that women in our community would understand and identify with.”
Eileen Burke, Traveller Women’s Awareness Worker from Traveller Visibility Group Cork says: “We want to encourage Traveller women to use the supports that are there – so this information works even if you can’t read well. We also use images and scenarios that Traveller women will identify with.
“There is a lack of trust in the Gardaí and fear of Gardaí. Traveller women would fear their children might be taken into care – this is a major barrier for Traveller women to call the Gardai. Also, we know of many women who have had a barring or a safety order but when she calls the Gardaí they don’t act or arrest the perpetrator.
While many Garda responses have been supportive, “Traveller women need to feel empowered and to know that even if the Gardaí do not always follow up as they should – there is something the woman can do about it and they can make a complaint.”
These resources were developed by Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre together with our Traveller DSGBV Pilot Project partners Wicklow Travellers Group, Cork Traveller Visibility Group and St. Catherine’s Community Services Centre. The Pilot Project is funded by Tusla Child and Family Agency. We are grateful to our funder Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for funding the development of the resources under the IHREC Access to Justice grant scheme.
Barring and Safety Order Leaflet with Audio (to be downloaded for audio feature to play)