'We have had clients in their 80s': Violence against women on the increase in Cork

The WCWAV client list grew by a further 100 people in 2020.
'We have had clients in their 80s': Violence against women on the increase in Cork

CALLS to the West Cork Women Against Violence increased by more than 1,200 in 2020 compared to the previous year and its client list grew by a further 100 people in 2020, according to WCWAV co-ordinator Marie Mulholland. Picture posed by model.

CALLS to the West Cork Women Against Violence increased by more than 1,200 in 2020 compared to the previous year and its client list grew by a further 100 people in 2020, according to WCWAV co-ordinator Marie Mulholland.

Ms Mulholland said the group experienced a major spike in calls during Covid.

“We are still amassing stats for 2021, but certainly in 2020 we had almost 100 more clients, so we were up to almost 300. We are usually at the 200 mark. We had 1,200 more phone calls in 2020 compared to 2019 and I think that figure will go up again for last year,” she said.

The organisation, which provides support and information to women who are victims of domestic violence, also opened a safe house in August 2021. Ms Mulholland said the safe house can take one family at a time. “We got the funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland. We only started operating it last August. Before that, we had nowhere.

“The problem for us is that when we have an emergency and we have to get a woman and her kids out of somewhere, what was happening was we were trying to put them up in bed and breakfasts and hotels, but once the tourist season started it was impossible.

“We are always here to listen and to help,” added Ms Mulholland who said forms of domestic violence occur in a series of ways and to women of all ages.

“You have all forms of abuse such as mental, harassment, sexual and physical. Financial abuse is a big one. We are seeing more examples of this happening. That is where the mother does not get any money to run a house. She must prove the children need shoes. She would not even be allowed money to put petrol in the car or do the weekly shop. It is all control.

“We have had clients in their 80s. Married for over 50 or 60 years and they put up with it. It was a generational thing as they were told they had made their bed, they must lie in it. 

"Because domestic violence is getting so much more attention and they are thinking maybe that is me, maybe I need to talk to somebody,” she added.

WCWAV has a presence throughout West Cork. Ms Mulholland said it is are there to support women. “We will go to court with them. We will prepare them for court. We will help them make their statements to the guards. We will look at their safety plan. We have a counselling programme. We have independent counsellors and we will subsidise that. It doesn’t have to be physical abuse for you to feel that you are being abused. If you are frightened of the person you live with, then you are being abused.”

Ms Mulholland said West Cork is due to get more resources to deal with the growing numbers of women seeking their services. She said there is a need for more resources.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more