LIFELINE (Inishowen) Domestic Violence Service provide a community response in Inishowen which offers a first step to support women and children who are experiencing Domestic Violence: physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.
Domestic Violence experienced by women involves the physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse of a woman by a male partner with whom she lives or has lived in the recent past. It can take a number of forms such as physical assault, sexual abuse, rape threats and intimidation and may also be accompanied by other kinds of intimidation such as degradation, mental and verbal abuse, humiliation and systematic criticism. Domestic Violence is an abuse of power which is part of a process rather than a once of event, and which usually increases over time.
We provide women with information on their rights and entitlements to all benefits, including health board services, housing, legal matters and can also refer to or provide an advocacy service for women where necessary. We also provide court accompaniment, for women who may feel intimidated at the prospect of facing court appearances/procedures alone. At all times, the service is ‘woman centred’, providing invaluable support at a time when the woman is likely to be under huge emotional, psychological and financial pressure. It has been the experience in the past that many women have been unable to draw on family or community for support in their situation – where family might be unwilling to become involved, the lifeline provides constant support to the woman.
LIFELINE (Inishowen) Domestic Violence Service operates out of Community Development principles, which include the following:
- Empowering and enabling – offering support – not advice
- Solidarity – not charity
- Respect and confidentiality
- Starting from where the woman is at
- Partnership Model
Aims and Objectives
- To research the nature/extent of Domestic Violence in Inishowen
- To disseminate information on Domestic Violence
- To create awareness on issues surrounding Domestic Violence
- To provide a Helpline for Women who have experienced or who are experiencing Domestic Violence
- To provide an Information/Listening Ear Service
- To provide Counselling for Women
- To provide Counselling for Children
- To provide Court Accompaniment
- To provide Training and Awareness Programmes.
- To Network with other Groups who are involved in the area of Domestic Violence
- To lobby for change in Policy
Our vision for the future is to continue to increase awareness of the issue of domestic violence and its effects, and to continue to enhance exsisting services and develop new services. The empowerment of women who are experiencing or recovering from the crime of domestic violence is central to this process. The group vision is to negotiate second stage ‘crisis’ housing from the local authority and to provide aftercare support and education to women and children recovering from domestic violence.