Tessa Collins, Senior Community Development Worker on the Violence against Women Programme, spoke at The Bar of Ireland’s Domestic Violence Conference on Friday 1 Nov.

Tessa highlighted the barriers for Traveller and Roma women when seeking help, reporting and leaving a situation of domestic and sexual violence. She also took lawyers through experiences Traveller and Roma women have with the criminal justice system.

She also discussed good practice for lawyers when working with Travellers and Roma women such as:

  • being aware of stereotypes and avoiding them
  • respect for different culture; meet Traveller/Roma women where she is at
  • Understand that each Traveller/Roma woman’s experience is different & avoid one size fits all responses
  • be aware of literacy issues and other barriers for Traveller/Roma women. information needs to be accessible
  • need for anti-racism & discrimination code of behaviour, policies and training in services
  • don’t believe everything you hear – violence is not part of Traveller culture
The Bar Council of Ireland is the representative body for barristers.