The Liaison Sergeant for Domestic Abuse in Clare is urging frontline practitioners to understand the impact coercive control and violence in the home has on children.
The call coincides with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which takes place today.
Today marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
In the first 8 months of this year 49 women and 82 children sought refuge at Clare Haven Services – the organisation which provides help to victims of domestic abuse in Clare.
The organisation saw a phenomenal increase in the demand for its services since the onset of the pandemic, recording an almost 14,500% increase in the number of support texts, an over 4,500% increase in support emails and a 315% rise in support calls in 2020.
The service are hosting an exhibition entitled Hidden Truths: Behind Closed Doors, to explore the themes of domestic violence in Clare over the 16 days.
A candlelit vigil willl be held on the final day of action, to remember the nine women in Clare who have been killed as a result of intimate partner violence.
Manager of Services at Clare Haven, Dr. Siobhán O’Connor, says it’s important that we continue to remember these women.
The head of Clare Local Area Network Opposing Violence Against Women (CLAN) is calling on those who work with children, to educate themselves on how domestic abuse affects them.
Catríona Holohan, who is also the Liaison Sergeant for Domestic Abuse in Clare, is asking adults to engage with a new resource pack called ‘Listen Hear Act’ which has been launched by CLAN and funded by the the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
The document aims to provide an insight into how children aren’t merely passive bystanders to household abuse.
Sergeant Holohan explains some of the ways in which children react to violence in the home.