The festive season should be a time of excitement and fun but for many Irish women, the complete opposite is true. Domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid has revealed that it is expecting an increase in calls to its national helpline over the Christmas period.
The run-up to Christmas can be a stressful time, with money woes rearing their heads. Even for those who have left abusive partners, the holidays can bring up issues around control and manipulation if children are involved. For women still with abusive partners, Christmas can be a nerve-wracking time of keeping the peace and trying to manage the situation for themselves and their children.
Read more: Doctor who killed son in Dublin found not guilty by insanity
The team at Irish domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid is expecting an increase in calls after December 25th, from women who have been attacked or are feeling threatened by their partner. The charity’s helpline (tel: 1800 341 900 ) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and staff and volunteers are manning the phones right through Christmas, including on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Linda Smith, Manager of the Women’s Aid Helpline says:
“Services are vital at this time of the year and we are committed to answering as many calls as we can. We need to continue to give women the opportunity to talk things through and offer the support they need, when they need it.
"We are here for every woman who needs to talk about anything that is making them anxious, worried and fearful about their partner. Every call is important so please just pick up the phone.”
The charity is currently looking for feedback on the service from anyone who’s used it recently. There is a short survey on the website that users of the helpline can safely fill in.
Have you used the Women's Aid 24hr Helpline? If so, your feedback is important & if you have the time, pls fill in a short survey to help us improve the service for those who call, email or text us in the future. All answers are anonymous & confidential. https://t.co/PhohDE9ifs pic.twitter.com/OAwVMB5sao— Women's Aid Ireland (@Womens_Aid) December 17, 2018
While it will undoubtedly be a tough Christmas for many Irish women, 2018 has brought about numerous conversations that will hopefully bring the country forward. Discussions about domestic abuse and the treatment of women have been brought into the open. With the right supports, women can get the help they need to get out of unhealthy or dangerous situations. If you find yourself in need of help this Christmas – or at any time – please do contact Women’s Aid.
Read more: Two men arrested in connection with attack on Roscommon house at heart of eviction scandal
Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900; womensaid.ie
Women’s Aid is also currently running its Christmas Fundraising Appeal. You can donate by texting ACTION to 50300 to donate €4 or online at womensaid.ie/donate.
* This article was originally published on our sister publication's website, Irish Tatler.