The launch of the Respond Cuan Álainn women’s refuge, in conjunction with the campaign 16 Days of Action opposing violence against women, took place on 10th December in Tallaght Town Centre.
Cuan Álainn is a refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence has been open since February 2012. The service aims to create a safe non-judgemental environment where women can live free from violence. This service supports up to nine families at any one time. There are a range of in-house services offered such as key working, personal development, care plans, practical advice, holistic needs assessment and court accompaniment. The service is fully funded by Respond Housing.
Respond launched this Centre in conjunction with the 16 Day of Action campaign which runs from 25th November to 10th December 2013. Since 1996, Women’s Aid has utilised the 16 Days Campaign to raise awareness of the reality of domestic violence and to push for positive change to increase women’s safety.
Mayor Dermott Looney launched the service which culminated with 25 balloons being released. The four purple and one white balloons in each bundle symbolises the one in five women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Patrick Cogan, ofm CEO of Respond stated:
‘The incidence of violence in families, especially that perpetrated on women and children, seems not to appear to have been ameliorated over many years. As a young newly-ordained priest in Clare I witnessed the effects of home violence on families: it was catastrophic then and it is still a scourge in many families today across our country. Into the bargain our government prefers to balance its books on the basis of providing financial protection for the better-off in our society, while all the time ignoring the needs of women and children who are out of home due to domestic violence. Respond has taken on this duty of care and of advocacy on their behalf in such places as Cuan Álainn (Tallaght) and Suaimhneas (Moyross), as well as working closely with associates in Ennis, Haven House, in respect of their commitment to families under threat’.
Cuan Álainn were also just been shortlisted for the Better Together Award. Better Together is a nationwide campaign which aims to make Ireland a better place by building support for charities, clubs and associations across the country.
About Cuan Álainn
Cuan Alainn is a refuge for women and children who are fleeing domestic violence. The service aims to create a safe non-judgemental environment where women can live free from violence. This is provided through a range of supports such as key working, personal development, care plans, practical and life skills, advice, support, and court accompaniment.
The aim of the unit is to:
- Provide second stage temporary housing on a referral basis only for women and children who have suffered mental, physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse.
- Encourage women to determine their own future and support them to make safe choices for themselves and their children
- Provide onsite support and care
- Recognise and care for the emotional and educational needs for the children living in the refuge
Cuan Alainn is low supported housing; the unit can provide refuge for 9 families at any one time. Five units are within the refuge which there is an element of communal living and four units outside (although onsite) which require the ability to show capability for fully independent living.
All service users are accommodated through referral process, which can be made by a professional body. The average period of stay at the unit is 12-15 weeks.
Photography credit : The Echo, John McCormack and Declan Corrigan.