A First for West Cork
8 March 2021: Private Donor makes ground-breaking project a reality on International Women’s Day
Statement by the West Cork Women Against Violence Project and The Community Foundation for Ireland:
After years of campaigning West Cork is set to get its first ever safe house for women and children escaping domestic abuse thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
The private donor through The Community Foundation for Ireland has allowed the West Cork Women Against Violence Project purchase a house which will be used to give families fleeing domestic violence a place of safety, shelter and support. Where they can begin to heal and make plans for a better future free of abuse and fear.
It is expected that remaining funding from the €400,000 donation will be used to acquire further supports, possibly a second smaller property to also provide a safe space. The purchase of the house completes an 18-month process to identify and acquire a suitable property during Covid-19 restrictions.
The donation comes 20-years since the West Cork Women Against Violence Project was established to ensure that women and children forced to live with the danger of domestic abuse could access local specialised services and supports to keep them safe and prevent further violence.
Confirming the announcement Project Coordinator Marie Mulholland said:
“There is no better way to mark International Women’s Day than to announce that thanks to a private donor, our long-held vision and goal of a Safe House in West Cork has become a reality. As a result we will be able to provide safe and comfortable accommodation to a woman and her children when they need it most.
The lack of safe emergency accommodation for victims of domestic violence is of national concern but is slowly beginning to get the attention it deserves. However, the situation for rural women and children in need of safety is exacerbated by the challenges of rural life in West Cork; isolation, long distances to the city and the limited capacity of the refuge there, lack of public transport and the dangers presented when women flee their violent partners.
Now, with our own Safe House, our local knowledge and 20 years of experience we can eliminate much of those challenges and difficulties and offer a very real sense of safety to those fleeing violent households.
Our service has achieved many milestones and today marks perhaps the most important ever. The purchase of a suitable house is a vital step on our journey to keep women and children in West Cork safe from violence.
On behalf of our team, the women and their families we support and work with I want to thank the anonymous donor and their overwhelming generosity in allowing the purchase of the house.”
Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland, Denise Charlton added:
“We are honoured to connect a private donor to the West Cork Women Against Violence Project to achieve a significant goal. The donor is passionate about providing accessible local support to victims of abuse. This project absolutely fits in with that goal. Allowing women and children to remain under threat and in danger because services are not available locally is not acceptable.
The Community Foundation for Ireland has been a strong supporter of volunteers, groups and national organisations combating domestic violence for 21-years. Covid-19 has brought the issue centre stage and we hope that a tipping point has been reached.
Overall we have provided €3.3 million in over 300 grants through our Women's Fund established 10-years ago to support women and girls.
On International Women’s Day, together with our donors and our partners on the ground we are recommitting to our work and support in this area.”