More than a thousand women and children were helped by ADAPT, the Limerick-based domestic abuse support service last year.
With national figures indicating that one in three Irish women experience some form of domestic abuse, ADAPT assisted a total of 828 women and 248 children through a variety of desperate situations in 2016.
The group provides a range of services including 24-hour helpline support; emergency refuge accommodation; outreach services; court accompaniment and emotional and practical support.
The Limerick facility is the largest refuge in Ireland with 14 self-contained apartments, essential for those escaping domestic abuse.
112 women and 182 children accessed emergency refuge accommodation with ADAPT last year with one woman saying that “I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for ADAPT,” while another said that ADAPT had saved her family’s “sanity”, and that her children “now feel safe”.
There has also been an increase in the numbers of older women seeking assistance or access to their service.
“In 2016, we had an increase in the number of women in their 70s and 80s looking for support,” said director Monica McElvaney.
“It takes great courage to come forward and talk about abuse especially when the person who is abusing you is a member of your family. Many of the older women have never spoken to anyone before about their situation but have lived with abuse for many years.”
1,064 helpline calls were also handled last year as ADAPT assisted a diverse range of individuals and families and supported women from 28 different countries.
The outreach service is available to women who need support but want to remain in their homes. Support workers are available to meet women anywhere in the county that is safe and accessible. In 2016, 317 women used the outreach service, while 295 women were helped access law enforcement and legal protection services.
ADAPT found that three out of every five people who have experienced severe abuse in intimate relationships experienced the abuse for the first time before they were 25 years old.
Through its Healthy Relationships Programme, ADAPT works with young people in schools and youth groups to help raise awareness of the importance of building healthy relationships based on equality, dignity and mutual respect.
For more information on ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services, see here or call 061-412354. ADAPT’s helpline number is available 24/7 on 1800-200-504.
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