By Michelle Crean

ADAPT, Kerry Women’s Refuge and Support Services, were contacted 61 times for support by 25 individual women between Christmas and January 3.

The Tralee based service, which helps families countywide, continues to operate during every level of COVID-19 restrictions, as it is a frontline service provider to women and children seeking support from domestic violence.

In the two week Christmas period from December 21 to January 3, not only were staff at the centre contacted 61 times for support by 25 individual women but eight women picked up the phone for the very first time seeking support.

“In the refuge over the Christmas fortnight eight women stayed with us and 17 children,” Catherine Casey, General Manager told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Unfortunately we were unable to respond to six requests for space over this time. We continue to offer 24 hour telephone support and outreach support in line with restrictions.”

ADAPT Kerry has also joined its voice to the new woman and child campaign. SafeIreland has partnered with HERstory movement, film maker Marion Bergin, and photographer Ellen McDermott.

CAMPAIGN

The campaign centres around a really powerful one minute film advert by Marion Bergin which can be viewed on ADAPT Kerry Women’s Refuge Facebook page.

The film depicts with chilling impact of the shrinking world of a woman and child living with coercive control and abuse. While this campaign is about highlighting the issue of coercive control, it is also about highlighting the road to recovery and freedom, Catherine explained.

“The central message of the campaign is that every woman and child deserves to feel safe. It is aimed first and foremost at reaching out to women and children experiencing domestic abuse and coercive control, to tell them that specialist support is available. It also aims to increase general public awareness about coercive control. Finally, it is about hope and expectation that with continued political, administrative and public support, we can do even more in 2021 to challenge fatalism about domestic abuse and coercive control in our communities. We can prevent it, and where it occurs, provide the wrap-around infrastructure, from courts to housing and health, that women and children need when they reach out for support and protection.”

If you need support please contact ADAPT Kerry on 0667129100.

Catherine added that the service would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support over Christmas and beyond.

“It is heartwarming to see the kindness that is shown to families by individuals and businesses across Kerry. Our charity shop will have to remain closed at the moment but we will post any updates on the ADAPT Kerry charity shop Facebook page. ADAPT Kerry also has a donation button on our website kerryrefuge.com if anyone is in the position to support our work.”