UL Hospitals staff have joined forces with An Gardai Siochana, Adapt House, Clare Haven and Ascend Services as part of the international campaign 16 Days of Action on Violence Against Women.
Global action on violence against women
The campaign links actions in Ireland to global action on violence against women. Violence against women is embedded as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which the international community have signed up to in order to address global problems of poverty and inequality.
From November 25th to December 10th, organisations in the Mid-West, Ireland and around the world are running a range of activities to raise awareness about issues of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
As part of the campaign, the Medical Social Work (MSW) Team at UL Hospitals invited staff, partner organisations and members of the public to their annual event at UHL on Monday, November 27th.
The event was launched by Deputy Jan O’ Sullivan TD, followed by a balloon release, in the ‘purple up’ campaign colours, outside the main hospital building.
The MSW team offer a confidential, support and information service to those who are affected by domestic violence across all the UL Hospitals Group. They meet and work with women, children & families who attend our hospitals having experienced or who are at risk of abuse.
Change the conversation
Anne Hegarty, Manager of Medical Social Work Services at UHL, said it was important “to look at this year’s campaign theme ‘Change the Conversation’, which puts a focus on how we discuss and speak about domestic violence and femicide. The campaign highlights myths surrounding domestic violence and challenges these”.
- Myth: “She must have done something to deserve it” – Truth: “No Women ever deserves abuse”.
- Myth: “It is easy to spot an abusive man. She must have known what he was like” – Truth: “Women do not seek out relationships with abusive men”.
- Myth: “If it were that bad, she would just leave” – Truth: Women stay with abusive men because it can be extremely difficult to leave”.
- Myth: “It is not an issue of gender” – Truth: “women are the majority of victims of domestic violence”.
- Myth: “Domestic Violence is a private matter, we shouldn’t get involved” – Truth: Domestic Violence is everybody’s business”.
Deputy O’Sullivan commented: “The hospital is an absolutely key location for this campaign and I am delighted to support UL Hospitals in getting the message out that domestic violence is totally unacceptable and that for anybody who is in a situation where it is an issue for them, that they should feel safe to come forward; that the services and support are there. The crucial issue is raising awareness and I want to congratulate the hospital and all the partners here today in doing just that.”
At this year’s event we had representation from An Garda Siochana: Supt Feargal Patwell, Insp Ronan McDonagh and Sgt Vinny Brick. Also colleagues from Clare Haven Services Co. Clare, Adapt Domestic Abuse Services Co. Limerick, Ascend Services Co. Tipperary and Rape Crisis Midwest.
We are also supported by our colleagues/staff within the Hospital Group, the HSE, Primary Care, and Tusla.
See more at:
Local support services:
Adapt House, Limerick: 1800 200 504/061 412354 (24 hr helpline)
Clare Haven, Ennis, Co. Clare: 065 6822435 (24 hr helpline)
Ascend, North Tipperary: 0505 23999 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)
Rape Crisis Centre Midwest, Limerick: 1800 311 511
National support services:
An Garda Siochana: In an emergency always contact 999 or 112
Women’s Aid Helpline: 1800 341 900
Childline: 1800 666 666