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  • Northside West

New domestic abuse clinic in Ballymun

Thursday, 25th April, 2019 1:00pm
New domestic abuse clinic in Ballymun

Aoibhneas Manager Emma Reidy and Domestic Abuse Campaigner Emma Murphy at an event marking the service’s 30th anniversary.

New domestic abuse clinic in Ballymun

Aoibhneas Manager Emma Reidy and Domestic Abuse Campaigner Emma Murphy at an event marking the service’s 30th anniversary.

Orla Dwyer

A NEW weekly clinic for victims of domestic abuse offering support and advice to women has opened in Ballymun.

The clinic is for women from Ballymun and the surrounding areas who have or are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse.

It is run by Aoibhneas, a refuge group for women and children that originated in Ballymun in 1988. 

Aoibhneas Community and Outreach team leader, Nadine O’Brien, said the clinic would break down barriers for women in the Ballymun area looking for support. 

“We would work with women and children who are victims of domestic abuse or any type of family violence,” she said. 

“In order to reach the most marginalised families, and considering access to childcare or transport, we need to offer this support in this community in a close proximity to where the family are residing.”

The clinic can offer aid with housing and social welfare for women who are experiencing any form of domestic abuse. Court accompaniment and preparation services can also be provided. 

The clinic will be run on Wednesday mornings in Ballymun and it is an appointment-only service. Women looking to receive confidential support from the service should contact the 24-hour Aoibhneas helpline on 01-867 0701 to get an appointment at the clinic.

“We want to have that immediate response to any lady, should they require help, residing in the Ballymun or surrounding areas,” said O’Brien. 

The clinic had been in negotiations for a while before opening on April 3. It is hoped that women from Ballymun and the surrounding areas now won’t have to travel to Artane and beyond to access support for domestic abuse from Aoibhneas. 

“This will help prevent any challenges families might have in accessing the service and we’re trying to remove those barriers and blocks,” said O’Brien. 

The organisation helps women develop safety plans and respond to their specific situation with domestic abuse. There are therapists in the service as well and they are hoping to get an on-site counsellor soon. 

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (IND), who has already referred someone to the service since it opened, welcomed the Ballymun clinic. 

“I think there is a real need for those services,” Cllr Reilly told Northside People. “I had to refer someone in the last week so straight away they are being used.

“It is an issue in our area as it is in every other area so it’s important that there is as much support there for victims.” 

Cllr Reilly said that not only immediate emotional support is needed for victims, but additional protection from the Gardaí and long-term support with housing and finances. 

“It’s absolutely great that the services are there now but I think it’s the law that needs to be brushed up,” she said.  

“I do think we have a long way to go in Ireland before domestic violence victims feel that they’re being listened to and feel that they’re getting the correct support that they need.” 

Aoibhneas has a refuge centre in Coolock and an outreach service in Artane. 

The organisation recently marked their 30th anniversary with the launch of a one-day census in January. It found that 76 women and 100 children accessed direct support from the service through refuge, outreach and the helpline in the 24-hour period.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here