WCWAVP Support Workers are here for women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence. We listen to women and give support and information as required.
WCWAV Freephone Helpline 1800 203 136 is staffed every Tuesday from 10am to 5pm; every other weekday morning from 10am to 1pm; and afternoons whenever possible from 1pm to 5pm. Our Office line 027 53847 hours are 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and can be used to make an appointment for a one-to-one meeting or a phone call with a support worker.
We do have a Drop in Service at our main office in Bantry. 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.
There is a regular Outreach clinic at Skibbereen, Fridays 10am to 2pm. The Support Worker is available to meet with a woman by either dropping into the clinic or by making an appointment through the office. Dropping-in may involve a wait if the Worker is already with another woman.
If it is not possible for you to travel to Bantry or Skibbereen 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 can not meet with women in their own homes.
We offer accompaniment to Court for family cases such as applications for Safety Orders, Barring Orders, Custody and Maintenance. We cannot normally offer accompaniment for civil cases.
• Our role is to offer emotional and practical support, not legal advice.
• We will meet with the woman in advance to talk through and help her to prepare for court, explain court layout. On the day of the court hearing we will meet with the woman about half an hour beforehand, to have a coffee, talk through her concerns, and offer support, as court attendance is often very stressful and the perpetrator will usually be present at court.
• Where there is more than one client and we do not have sufficient staff or volunteers to accompany all, we will prioritize women who have no other support, have never attended court or who are particularly vulnerable.
• We will assess the situation on a case by case basis: the safety of workers and volunteers is paramount. If the abuser is known to be very violent, police should be contacted to provide safety.
• We can wait until the hearing is over, and take the woman to a neutral place of her choosing to offer further support. This may involve helping her to come to terms with the court’s decision and identifying safety measures for herself and her children.
We offer accompaniment to appointments with the Gardaí, Social workers, Solicitors and to other agencies.
In all of our work with clients, we ensure that a non-judgemental and supportive approach is used. Continued Support is given to women, irregardless 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 their own life decisions.
We advocate on behalf of women where we can speak on behalf of a woman or empower her to speak for herself in order that she may secure her rights and entitlements. By liaising and developing good relationships with agencies, we can enable women to gain access to a wide range of services.
It can be extremely difficult for family and friends to hear disclosures of domestic abuse. The woman may have requested that confidentiality is maintained, which creates pressure on this individual to hold this issue. In the majority of cases, family and friends experience frustration when 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 criticize your friend however frustrating you find her behavior. 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
• 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 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.