Women’s Aid, the national the national domestic violence frontline support organisation, has released details of a survey for survivors of domestic violence. The organisation is carrying out independent research to help it better understand the support needs of women experiencing abuse from current or ex intimate partners and identify the gaps that currently exist. In 2018, Women’s Aid was contacted over 19,000 times for support but the organisation says that this is just a fraction of the people who are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse in their own homes and in their relationships. According to the National Crime Council Research (2005) only 7% of victims ever reach out to a Helpline like Women’s Aid for support while the same survey estimated that over 213,000 women in Ireland were experiencing severe domestic violence. Women’s Aid has called on survivors to help them improve the response for those experiencing abuse by completing a confidential survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WomensAID2019 whether they have used the organisation’s support services or not.
We want to understand better the difficulties for women experiencing domestic abuse to talk about what is happening. We know that many women are afraid that they will not be believed or that they will blamed for the abuse. Others struggle to find the words to describe their situation. All too often, women feel alone and isolated, unaware that help is available or unable to make sense of what is being done to them. Others may confide in family, friends or someone they trust.
This survey is an important opportunity to gain a snapshot view into the services women in Ireland do – and do not - access when experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Women’s Aid support thousands of women every year, but research tells us that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that many women may never reach out to our own, or to other support services. We want to learn what is most helpful to women and what barriers there may be for them seeking help. This survey is will help us gain feedback into our own services so that Women’s Aid can continue to grow, develop and provide an excellent response to those in need.
The survey does not require you to provide any identifying information and is completely anonymous. Women’s Aid is calling on survivors of domestic violence aged over 18+ to carry out the survey in complete confidence at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WomensAID2019.