Friday 24 May 2019

Local DVAS steps up domestic violence awareness campaign

Communities are urged to take a zero tolerance policy towards domestic violence

Jessica Farry

Domestic Violence Advocacy Service in Sligo will outline the organisation's goals for the next five years at the launch of their strategy & communications plan on Thursday 1st November 2018.

Hosted by Cathaoirleach Councillor Martin Baker at Sligo County Council Chambers DVAS, which provides support, information and advocacy services to women experiencing domestic violence in Sligo, Leitrim & West Cavan, the launch will also feature the first screening of two short films to raise awareness of domestic violence and to support professionals to encourage and aid women to seek specialist support.

Speaking about domestic violence Carmel McNamee DVAS Manager for Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan said: "The signing into law of the Domestic Violence Bill in May of this year is a big step forward and although it is taking time to enact we really hope it will change how domestic violence is perceived and dealt with in the legal system to prevent suffering"

For the first time Coercive Control will be a criminal offence.

This means that patterns of controlling or monitoring behaviour such as isolating women or financial, psychological or sexual abuse are now illegal.

Coercive control is a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other psychological or emotional abuse that is used to control and limit the freedom of an intimate partner or a family member.

"The advent of mobile and social technologies has seen a rise in abusers monitoring and controlling women and it is hoped this legislation will help to combat this insidious behaviour which isolates women and deprives them of their independence" says Carmel.

The current communications project has taken 8 months to develop messages on multiple platforms to inform women experiencing domestic violence that their partner's abusive behaviour is NOT their fault and that should they choose to seek help DVAS offers a free confidential service.

Messages have also been developed for the frontline healthcare and social care sectors and those who may be concerned that someone close is experiencing domestic violence.

Carmel explains: "Domestic Violence is so much more than the most obvious physical abuse. It's psychological, financial, sexual and emotionally manipulative.

"Domestic Violence occurs across all demographics and no two situations are alike. The important thing as a society is that we recognise that it's everyone's business and we want our communities in Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan to take a zero tolerance approach towards domestic violence."

To raise awareness and much needed funds DVAS will be selling Christmas Cards though Liber Bookshop Cait & I & Kates Kitchen from November 9th for €3.95 for 5

A further fundraising night will be held on November 30th in Anderson's Bar & Grill Kempten Promenade Sligo.

To contact DVAS:  Domestic Violence Advocacy Service, 071 914 1515 10am - 6pm,,

Sligo Champion