January 24, 2021

Waterford domestic abuse support services back new campaign

Domestic abuse and rape crisis support services in Waterford have added their voices to a major new TV, Radio and Social Media advertising campaign to tackle the serious issue of domestic violence.

The campaign seeks to reassure victims that services are ‘still here’, and that victims are being prioritised during the COVID-19 emergency.

“This is a lonely, isolating time for many people,” Anne Scully from Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre said.

“To anyone who is living in fear and living with abuse I want to say please remember we’re here to help.  If you can’t reach out now, then contact us when you can.”

Meanwhile, Claire Coughlan, spokesperson for Oasis House Women’s Refuge, a Safe Ireland frontline member service, said:

“We welcome the timely, new Government awareness and information campaign on domestic violence, called Still Here.

The most important message is that we are open and working to help protect women and children here in (county) Covid-19 brings challenges but we are re-configuring and finding new, creative ways to help keep women safe.

“During Covid-19 we are being reminded that we are all in this together. The response to domestic violence can be no different.

“This campaign is also asking people to be vigilant, to keep in touch with friends and family, to be aware that homes may not be safe, and to be a voice in looking for support at a time when a survivor not be able to use hers because of being isolated or controlled with an abuser.”

The new ads were developed by the Department of Justice and Equality who collaborated with frontline services and depict the reality for victims of domestic abuse when their home is no longer a safe place.

One of the radio ads depicts a mother trying to reassure her child that their effort to hide from their abuser is just a game of ‘Hide and Seek’ while the other features a male victim trying to communicate his plight to the emergency services.

The TV ad meanwhile portrays a woman’s attempt to keep in contact with her friend through a video call being interrupted by her abusive partner.

The ads carry the message to victims that services are still available despite the COVID-19 emergency.

The Department has provided an additional allocation of over €196,000 to community and voluntary groups to support their work and is also funding the making and airing of the ad.

Information on services and supports for victims is available on a new website www.stillhere.ie

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