A PROJECT that aims to provide essential items to victims of domestic violence has seen “unbelievable” support from the people of Cork, with a particularly successful donation day to mark International Women’s Day this year.
CRiTiCALL Cork emerged as a direct response to the issues that came with the Covid-19 lockdown and increased reports of domestic abuse.
The aim of CRiTiCALL Cork is to support anyone experiencing domestic violence in the area by facilitating the donation of critical goods to those that need it most.
The project is a collaboration between Cork Volunteer Centre and Safe Ireland and aims to support people emerging from domestic violence circumstances, through collaboration with services in Cork.
Throughout the year, collections take place to provide essential items to those utilising domestic abuse support across Cork.
Donations can include items such as cleaning products, hygiene products, non-perishable foods, baby items and clothing for women and children.
From October to December of last year, six donation days were organised in Cork, and volunteers were overwhelmed by the support the project received.
“We assumed that there would be challenges during Level 5 restrictions," said Manager of the Cork Volunteer Centre, Dr Julie Connelly.
Dr Connelly also noted a very generous anonymous corporate donation which has allowed them to continue with the project in 2021.
International Women’s Day saw a particularly impressive response from the people of Cork with 60 bags with items distributed across Cork as a result of the generous donations.
In addition, vouchers worth over €1,000 and phone credit of over €100 were donated in what Dr Connelly described as an “unbelievable” response to the donation day.
Dr Connelly noted how the discreet nature of vouchers and phone credit is particularly beneficial as while a lot of those utilising the services are living within shelters or emergency accommodation having escaped domestic abuse, many are still living in the middle of it.
Speaking on the impact of the project, a spokesperson from Good Shepherd said that women escaping domestic violence often end up living in homeless hostels or B&B accommodation, with entire families sharing one room.
"The stress the lack of secure accommodation has on the women and children is unimaginable, particularly as it comes at a time when they are already traumatised by their experience of Domestic Violence.
"Most of the women and children living in B&B accommodation do not have access to cooking or laundry facilities so have to rely on expensive takeaways and outside laundry facilities.
"Being able to give a woman some toiletries means that’s one less item she has to worry about buying."
Across Cork, there are six members of Safe Ireland who benefit from donations from the public including Good Shepherd Cork (Edel House), Cuanlee Refuge, OSS Cork, Mná Feasa, West Cork Women Against Violence and Y.A.N.A (You Are Not Alone).
CRiTiCALL Cork's next donation day will take place on 9 April where vouchers, phone credit, cleaning products and other essential items can be donated.
Our next donation day is the 9th April at 3 locations in the City Centre North Cork and East Cork. Please see list of items to donate, including phone credit, which could form part of someone's safety plan #stillhere @AvonBlack @SECADCork @c193 @Corkcoco @CorkChamber pic.twitter.com/VbTQvtrSv3— CRiTiCALL Cork (@CorkCriticall) March 15, 2021
Donation points are located in North Cork and East Cork in addition to the city. Those wishing to donate can apply to do so in a base that is within their 5km.
More information is available here.