A public meeting being hosted by the Wexford Soroptimists next week will attempt to break the silence on domestic violence.
Taking place in the Riverbank House Hotel at 7.30 p.m., this free event will feature a number of guest speakers, among them Inspector Rory Sheriff, whose duties include oversight of Domestic Violence policy for Wexford Garda Division, and Pauline Ennis, Manager of Wexford Women's Refuge.
The Soroptmiists are a volunteer service organisation for women who work for peace, and to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities. The Wexford branch has been in existence since 1961 and consists of 30 members, one of whom is Barbara Harrison.
'The meeting is entitled 'Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence' and it's something we've been working on since February of last year. The CEO of SAFE Ireland, Sharon O'Halloran is one of the speakers and we'll have students, male and female, from locals schools,' said Barbara.
In addition to those speakers, the night will also feature representatives from MEND (Men Ending Domestic Abuse), a therapy service for men who have committed domestic violence and want to reform, '
'This meeting isn't going to be one-sided, we really want men to attend,' said Barbara. 'The whole point is to bring the message to grass roots that there are various different forms of domestic violence and we can offer support to anyone that is suffering.'
And Barbara is also aware that, for some people, tackling their issues and dealing with the daily trauma of domestic violence is not always that straightforward.
'There are an awful lot of people who do sufer from domestic violence who have no hope of gettig out of the situation and don't wish to get out of the situation. We don't speak up because we're afraid. You can understand that. But there are ways and means of getting help without causing further damage,' Barbara said.