Victims of domestic abuse in Clare are being called upon to set an escape plan in motion and be prepared to break free if necessary this Christmas.
It comes as over 40 people attended a vigil in the county town last night to remember those who’ve lost their lives to gender-based violence.
264, the number of women who just in the last 28 years since charity women’s aid have been keeping tabs, have been killed violently in Ireland.
Included in this cohort are nine women from County Clare.
Its understood that 87% of those killed were known to their perpetrator and according to one Ennis resident, the most dangerous time for a woman is when they tell their spouse they are planning to leave.
Louise Bailey is now a volunteer with Clare Haven who had supported her through two controlling marriages and she says its vital that anyone who feels their life is in imminent danger, puts an appropriate plan in place for Christmas.
The county’s dedicated refuge service for women and children is also reminding the public of the traumatic effects that growing up in an abusive household can have on its youngest members.
Later today, the Empower Kids Webinar, which has eleven particpants in the county will take place at Hotel Woodstock, with the aim of giving a voice to those suffering in silence.
Children and Support Services Co-Ordinator at Clare Haven Deirdre Murray says the impact on young lives can be devastating, but help is at hand.
For the Director of Services at Clare Haven , the large crowds that attended last night’s candlelit vigil reflects a truly sad reality that many there had a story of personal suffering to tell.
The charity established in 1993, provides a range of awareness, intervention, transitional housing and refuge services from its centres on both the Limerick Road in Clarecastle and Gort Road in Ennis.
Dr Siobhán O’Connor says that the best gift friends and family can give to those who need it this Christmas is a listening ear and their trust.
You can listen to the full interview below.
Clare Haven Services are available 24/7 365 days a year on 065 684 2646