Speaking in the Dáil recently, local Fine Gael TD raised the doubling of calls to Saoirse’s women’s refuge, who provide accommodation for victims of domestic abuse in Rathcoole.
She stated: “The lockdown has been a challenge for many people. “But for victims of domestic abuse it has been hell. “Their home isn’t their sanctuary; “They find their sanctuary when they find space away from home. “This was robbed from them for months”
Emer Higgins continued: “Many were forced into sharing cramped apartments with abusive partners night and day, almost 24/7, walking on egg shells to avoid a violent and often dangerous outburst. “I know that calls Saoirse Women’s refuge doubled in May and they are providing refuge in Rathcoole in my constituency. “Thankfully their newest refuge which opened in Rathcoole just six months ago has provided much needed sanctuary for six families. “I attended its opening with the then Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone. “I had mixed emotions at the opening: delighted that this facility was available to those who need it but really sad that so many people need such refuge
“Just as the crisis escalated, the public’s response did also. Vital funds were raised by the release of a music video in aid of Safe Ireland by 39 Irish female singers and musicians. “Prominent tv and online ads during the lockdown did more than provide information, they provided hope. “Hope of a brighter, safer future. “Hope that help is available and isn’t going away regardless of the crisis”
Emer Higgins concluded: “While the covid 19 crisis slowly fading, the scourge of domestic abuse is not. “It shows no signs of abating. “The chilling statistics from a Union of Students in Ireland study released this year show shockingly high levels of sexual assault. “It’s clear we need a long term strategy to tackle this scourge head on.
Pictured; Emer Higgins when Saoirse Women’s refuge in Rathcoole opened