1800 203 136
You're Not Alone!
West Cork Women
Against Violence Project
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Our Services

West Cork Women Against Violence Project operates a service to women and to external agencies, friends and family who may contact on behalf of a woman who is experiencing or has experienced domestic violence.

Wanting to change or leave a violent and uncertain situation can be a very hard decision for a person to make; not knowing what options are available, worrying about the future and doubting the experiences of abuse in the home, or feeling that you don’t deserve support/help.

In all of our work with clients, we ensure that a non-judgemental and supportive approach is used. Continued Support is given to a woman, regardless of her choice. In her own time, each woman chooses the approach and the steps that she wishes to take using the options that are discussed with her. Ongoing work with clients is viewed as a central part of the work to enable a woman to reach her own life decisions.

During any contact, please be sure that the perpetrator of the abuse is not near you. The helpline worker needs to ensure you are not overheard to keep you safe from harm. It’s important to be aware that the perpetrator of the abuse may overhear your call and any information provided by the helpline worker, which can endanger you.

All of the services listed here are available by talking to one of our experienced domestic violence support workers.

Helpline - answered between 9 and 5 whenever support worker is available
One to One Appointments

Outreach
Court Accompaniment
Professional Appointment Accompaniment
Advocacy
Support for family & friends
Support for professionals
Training
Counselling


Helpline:

West Cork Women Against Violence Project operates a Freephone Helpline to speak directly with a support worker. This line will be answered whenever a support worker is available. 1800 203 136

Appointments to meet with or speak to a support worker can be made by calling the office line 027 53847. This is available 9am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

This service offers:
• Practical and emotional support to women who have or are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual and/ or financial abuse.
• Advice and assistance on legal, housing, social welfare, rights and entitlements, budgeting.
• Information, advocacy and referral to appropriate services.

One to One Appointments

This offers a one to one, safe, confidential space for women where they can talk and work through their difficulties with trained staff. We offer:

• Practical and emotional support to women who have experienced or are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual and/ or financial abuse.
• Advice and assistance on legal, housing, social welfare, rights and entitlements, budgeting.
• Information, advocacy and referral to appropriate services.

We operate a Drop in Service at our main office in Bantry where one can meet with one of our workers, however, to ensure that a Support Worker is available when you call, it is preferable to make an appointment if you can. Appointments can be made through the Freephone or the main office number.

Outreach Clinics

Outreach is a community-based support that enables women experiencing violence to access all necessary supports to remain safely within their home. This service can be tailored to meet your needs - a Support Worker will be available to meet with a woman by making an appointment through the office or we can meet in other locations.

• There is a regular Outreach clinic in Skibbereen, each Friday from 11am to 2pm.
• An outreach clinic is also available in Clonakilty, this is by appointment only and takes place on Wednesdays.
• If it is not possible for you to travel to Bantry, Skibbereen or Clonakilty to meet with our Support Worker we can arrange to meet you, at a safe location, in another part of West Cork.

These free, scheduled appointments can be arranged by contacting the office. We strongly advise to make an appointment to ensure someone can meet you at that scheduled time.

We cannot meet with women in their own homes.

Please note: Dropping-in may involve a wait if the Worker is already with another woman.

Court Accompaniment

The legal system and court process can be a daunting prospect for anyone. Knowing how the system works, an awareness of your rights and entitlements really helps when someone decides to apply for legal orders.

Pre-court preparation:

• Prior to court, we aim to meet with the woman to explain the court layout and prepare for court.
• We offer advice on the types and eligibility of legal orders, information on the application and the court process.
• We assist in the application process -in how to formulate, prepare and deliver the case.
• Part of this process, may involve sourcing legal aid, gathering necessary documentation and providing advocacy to prioritise a case.
• We offer accompaniment to Court for family cases such as applications for Legal Orders, Access, Custody and Maintenance. We cannot normally offer accompaniment for any other civil cases.
• We can provide linkage/ Advocacy with Gardaí, Solicitors, Social workers and legal personnel.
• On the day of the court hearing, we will meet with the woman about half an hour beforehand. This is to have an update on the situation and talk through any concerns, as court attendance is often very stressful with the perpetrator usually present at court.

During court:
We will stay with the client whilst waiting for the court case and due to recent introduction of the Domestic Violence Act 2018, we can now remain in the court whilst the case is being heard.

Post court support/Debrief:
Following the hearing we will take the woman to a neutral place of her choosing. The focus will be the court’s decision and identifying safety measures and plan.

Professional Appointment Accompaniment

We can offer accompaniment to appointments with the Gardaí, Social workers, Solicitors, Community Welfare, Housing, child protection case conferences and to other agencies.

Advocacy

We focus on liaising and developing good relationships with agencies which can enable women to gain access to a wide range of services. Advocacy means being able to communicate with an outside agency in order to fast track an application, input into decision making or change an outcome.

With the client’s permission, we can speak to an agency on behalf of a woman or empower her to speak for herself in order that she may secure her rights and entitlements.

Counselling

We can offer subsidised counselling by referral to any of our listed qualified counsellors. In order to access this, one needs to be a client of the project and speak with one of the support workers.

Training programmes

Tailored programmes can be developed for groups. We have provided training to community groups like ICA, to professional organisations such as Transition year students and Social Studies groups, Gardai, Public Health, Social Work teams.

Parenting Programs:

We run an eight week parenting program called Surviving to Thriving to support mums who have escaped from abusive relationships, providing advice about self-care as well as inviting professionals to speak about particular issues that affect children, and how to identify those issues.

Therapeutic support to children and young people

In early 2019, we piloted a scheme called CYP, which provides external therapeutic support to children and young people up to 18 years of age who have lived or are living with the impact of domestic abuse in their household/family. Children will be eligible for the program with the agreement of and support of their mother. Children of existing clients will be prioritised.

Support Group

Each month, we run a peer support group which allows women who have left abusive relationships to come together to share their stories and gain support from each other. In order to access this, you need to speak with one of the support workers.

Support for family and friends

We can provide support to you if you are supporting someone else who is suffering from abuse. It can be extremely difficult for family and friends to hear disclosures of domestic abuse, especially if the woman may has requested that you to keep her confidence. In many cases, too, family and friends will experience frustration if the woman chooses to remain in the abusive situation.

The most important thing you can do is to be there for your friend.
• Learn to be a good listener.
• Don’t blame your friend.
• Don’t criticise your friend however frustrating you find her behaviour. She needs your support.
• Encourage your friend to contact us and suggest she takes some additional telephone numbers for when we are not open e.g. Women’s Aid: Free phone 1800 341 900

Also remember:
• To look after yourself
• If you feel the situation is getting worse or too much for you to handle, we are here for you as well.

Support for Professionals

Support is also available for people who are affected by domestic abuse in the course of their work. We can give you support and general information on the issue.

Training programmes

Tailored programmes can be developed for groups. We have provided training to community groups like ICA, to professional organisations such as Transition year students and Social Studies groups, Gardai, Public Health, Social Work teams.

Counselling

We can offer subsidised counselling by referral to any of our listed qualified counsellors. In order to access this, one needs to be a client of the project and speak with one of the support workers.

Violence against women is unacceptable!

We value all the help and support that we receive from organisations and individuals, and your financial support, whatever the amount, will help us to help those suffering domestic abuse. We all believe that violence against women is unacceptable.
Freephone helpline: 1800 203 136
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