Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack

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County Louth and Meath

Domestic Abuse Resource Pack Domestic Abuse is Everyone’s Business

LOUTH

MEATH

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements............................................................................................................. 2 Significance of Domestic Abuse for the Family Unit........................................................... 3 Domestic Violence Statistics............................................................................................... 4 What is Domestic Violence?................................................................................................ 7 Tactics of Coercive Control............................................................................................... 10 Buzzwords, Terms and Phrases........................................................................................ 12 Effects of Domestic Abuse................................................................................................ 13 How to Recognise Domestic Abuse................................................................................. 14 Warning Signs that Indicate a Potential Abusive Situation............................................... 16 Current Legislation: the Domestic Violence Act 2018....................................................... 18 Interventions with Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse.......................................................... 23 Online Resources.............................................................................................................. 27 Louth Local Support Services........................................................................................... 28 Meath Local Support Services.......................................................................................... 35 National Support Services................................................................................................. 43 Louth Directory.................................................................................................................. 48 Meath Directory................................................................................................................. 50 Appendix........................................................................................................................... 52 Glossary of Terms.............................................................................................................. 55

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Acknowledgements The Domestic Abuse Resource Pack is the result of many interagency partners working together to highlight awareness of Domestic Violence and how to respond to it. Firstly, Louth and Meath CYPSCs wish to thank and acknowledge the Roscommon CYPSC and services, whose original work on the Roscommon Domestic Violence Abuse Pack provides the template for this document. Thank you also to the interagency stakeholders of Louth and Meath CYPSCs’ Safe and Protected from Harm sub-groups who supported the adaptation of this resource. Funding was provided by the Better Outcomes Brighter Futures programme fund through the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). A special thank you to the Louth Meath Domestic Violence Working Group, which includes input from: • Annmarie Kidd, CFSN Coordinator, South Louth, PPFS, Tusla • Susan Keogh, Manager, Drogheda Women’s and Children’s Refuge • Jackie Jackson, CFSN Coordinator, North/South Meath, PPFS, Tusla • Ann Larkin, Services Manager, Women’s Aid Dundalk • Paula McCabe, CFSN Coordinator, North Louth, PPFS, Tusla • Andrea McDermott, Social Care Manager/Training Manager, Men’s Aid • Alice O Halloran, CFSN Coordinator, East/South Meath, PPFS, Tusla • Sinéad Smith, Manager, Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services • Leonard Callaghan, Coordinator, Meath CYPSC • Joanne Murphy, Coordinator, Louth CYPSC We also wish to thank all those services that have reviewed and submitted feedback on this Resource Pack.

The information contained in this document is a guide and for information purposes only. It has been compiled from many sources that are not controlled by Louth/Meath CYPSCs. While all reasonable effort has been made in the compilation and publication of these contents, Louth and Meath CYPSCs make no representations or warranties, whether expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information, materials or services contained herein. Louth and Meath CYPSCs shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, to the user or any third party for any damage resulting from the use of the information contained or implied in this document.

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Significance of Domestic Abuse for the Family Unit The Louth and Meath CYPSCs have gathered evidence through their members’ discussions and interface experiences with families which suggests that Domestic Abuse is a significant issue in Counties Louth and Meath. The issue, which is prevalent, pertinent and complex, requires a multifaceted approach and seamless collaborative response. Domestic Abuse can have a fundamental impact on mothers or fathers who are parenting within this context.1 It not only impacts on the adult who experiences Domestic Abuse but also significantly impacts the children who experience and witness it. The extended family may also be exposed to the wider effects of Domestic Abuse. The impact on co-parenting is significant and is seen in daily practice by many professionals working with children and their families. Access to services must be clearly signposted for the child and family in order that the most appropriate service is provided at the correct level of need. The purpose of this Resource Pack is to assist professionals working with children and families with key messages and knowledge surrounding appropriate services and resources available in Counties Louth and Meath. Professionals working with children and families need to be able to recognise the signs of Domestic Abuse, to make themselves aware of their agencies’ policies and procedures and to avail of relevant training, as well as being familiar with local resources in order to facilitate referrals seamlessly.

Community

Extended family

Grandparents

Parent

Children

Victim

1

Watson, D. & Parsons, S. (2005) ‘Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland: Report on the National Study of Domestic Abuse’, The National Crime Council, Economic and Social Research Institute.

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1IN 4

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS

1IN16

WOMEN

MEN

In Ireland, 1 in 4 women have experienced abusive behaviour of a physical, sexual or emotional nature from a partner

In Ireland, 1 in 16 men have experienced abusive behaviour of a physical, sexual or emotional nature from a partner

53,627

HELPLINE CALLS

10,782

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES

2,572

CHILDREN

The number of helpline calls were answered by Domestic Violence support services in 2018

The number of individual women who received support from a domestic violence service in Ireland in 2018

The number of individual children received direct support from a domestic violence service in Ireland in 2018.

Of the 2,572 children who received support services in 2018, 1,667 were staying in a refuge, 150 were living in supported housing, and 78 children were accommodated in a Safe House. 948 of the children who received Domestic Abuse support services were less than 5 years old.

In a 2018 survey of 468 Transition Year students in Roscommon aged between 15 and 16 years, 15% reported that they had witnessed psychological violence/ abuse in their home and 11.3% reported witnessing physical violence/abuse in their home.

Sources: http://www.safeireland.ie/policy-publications/ Planet Youth Survey of Transition Year Students, Roscommon 2018 - www.planetyouth.ie

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Statistics for Louth/Meath for 2018 (Safe Ireland) # Women who accessed Domestic Violence services in 2018 # Women admitted to Refuges # Women not accommodated due to Refuges being full # Children who received support from Domestic Violence services # Children admitted to Refuges # Helpline calls to Domestic Violence services

1,371 170 510 358 208 3,910

The overall statistic in Louth and Meath is that one in three women are domestically abused.

Domestic Abuse and Children Children who experience Domestic Abuse are ultimately living in a constant state of fear, coercion, isolation, intimidation and trauma. First, it is crucial for professionals working with families who have experienced Domestic Abuse to acknowledge and understand that children who are living in an environment where such abuse is taking place, even if they are not immediately present when an incident is occurring, are still undergoing an experience of Domestic Abuse. Children may experience abuse in different ways through their senses, e.g. by feeling it, seeing it or hearing it. Though Domestic Abuse may or may not be directed towards them, children may also try to intervene to protect the abused parent. Older children may often feel a responsibility to protect their younger siblings from pain. Frequently, children will also be used by the perpetrator as a way of abusing or controlling the other parent. A key point to note is that once separation has occurred, the abuse may not stop for the parent or the children and can often continue by the perpetrator tracking, controlling and monitoring the family. The perpetrator may also use access to the children to continue controlling the other parent. This is likely to be a difficult time for the family where support should be provided to the abused parent to deal with the ongoing issues. The effects of Domestic Abuse on children are extensive. Some of these are listed below. • Behavioural issues at home/school • Sleeping difficulties/nightmares • Eating difficulties • Low self-esteem and confidence • Self-harm • Suicide • Anxiety • Difficulties in managing emotions

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Services that offer therapeutic or developmental support for children who have experienced Domestic Abuse may also need to take the following questions into consideration: • Is the child in a sufficiently safe and secure environment to engage with support? • Is the parent accessing support for themselves? • Are there any court orders in place? • Is the child participating in regular access and is this access court-ordered? • What other services are involved with the child? It is important to consider the above issues so that it can be ascertained that the child is in a place where they can recover from their experience of Domestic Abuse. If the child is still living with the perpetrator or the abuse is continuing after the perpetrator has left the home, this may not be a suitable time for the child to engage meaningfully with a service, and other supports may need to be looked at first. Services that support children who experience Domestic Abuse may also offer support which aims to build a child’s emotional literacy and resilience, helps them learn how to keep safe at home and offers the child a safe place to talk about their experience of Domestic Abuse.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-informed Care Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that happen to us as children and shape how we subsequently react to the world into adulthood. Such experiences can be classified as involving different types of abuse, neglect or household dysfunction, including experience of Domestic Violence. Research shows a significant correlation between the level of trauma we experience and adverse outcomes later in life. It is important for professionals to recognise this when dealing with victims of Domestic Violence, as research further shows a strong link between the occurrence of Domestic Violence and the presence of other forms of trauma. These can present themselves in the form of substance misuse, physical abuse and mental health issues within the home. The presence of ‘toxic stress’ in these situations can impact on a child’s emotional, cognitive and physical development, increasing the chance that they may repeat the cycle of intergenerational trauma later in life. How we as professionals respond to this information is central to breaking the cycle of trauma. ‘Trauma-informed care’ is central to this approach in helping us to recognise the signs and symptoms of trauma and acknowledge its impact on that person’s life. It also helps professionals to avoid practices that may re-traumatise survivors of Domestic Violence by placing the person at the centre of our response. In this way, trauma-informed practice involves an awareness of how our own practice can impact on others whilst providing them with the tools to feel safe, build connections and learn how to cope with their experience of trauma. Since these three elements are key to building resilience in the face of adversity, trauma-informed practice is best positioned to help accomplish this aim.

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What is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence refers to the use of physical/emotional force or the threat of physical force, including sexual violence, in close adult relationships (National Taskforce Against Women, 1997). This includes violence perpetrated by a spouse, partner, son, daughter or any other person who has a close or blood relationship with the victim. The term ‘Domestic Violence’ can go beyond actual physical violence and can also involve any of the following forms of emotional abuse: the destruction of property; isolation of the victim from friends, family and other potential sources of support; threats to others, including children; stalking; and control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation, the telephone, internet and social media (HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, 2010). The Domestic Violence Act 2018 has provided for a new criminal offence of Coercive Control, stating that ‘Coercive Control is a persistent and deliberate pattern of behaviour by an abuser over a prolonged period of time designed to achieve obedience and create fear. It may include coercion, threats, stalking, intimidation, isolation, degradation and control. It may also include physical and/or sexual violence.’ Coercive Control is psychological abuse in an intimate relationship that causes fear of violence and serious alarm or distress and has a substantial adverse impact on a person’s day-to-day activities (Domestic Violence Act 2018).2 Domestic Abuse has not been defined in Irish legislation. The published policy of An Garda Síochána on Domestic Abuse Intervention 2017 (developed in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions) defines Domestic Abuse as the ‘physical, sexual, financial, emotional or psychological abuse of one person against another who is a family member or is or has been an intimate partner, regardless of the gender or sexuality’.3 In such situations, the perpetrator uses a range of abusive behaviours to gain and ensure power and control over the other person, and these abusive actions often get worse over time. In most cases, it is women are the victims of Domestic Abuse and male partners (husbands, boyfriends or exes) who are the perpetrators. Domestic Abuse can, however, also occur between family members and same-sex couples and be perpetrated by women against men.4 The following two diagrams present tools that can be utilised in Domestic Violence to understand the tactics abusers use to gain power and control.

Community Response to Domestic Abuse, Western Regional Network. An Garda Síochána (2017), Domestic Abuse Intervention Policy. 4 Domestic Abuse NAP 2017, Tusla. 2 3

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Power & Control Wheel

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The Male Experience of Domestic Abuse Domestic Abuse can be defined as the emotional, physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse of power that generally forms a pattern of behaviour which develops and escalates over a period of time, the impact of which can be devastating for the victim regardless of gender. Men also experience Domestic Violence/Abuse and are also negatively impacted by their experiences. There is a paucity of research in Ireland regarding the male experience of Domestic Violence. One notable exception is Watson and Parsons’ (2005) study, which provides some information concerning the gender prevalence of Domestic Abuse in Ireland.5 This study, commissioned by the National Crime Council of Ireland, found that 6% of Irish men have experienced severely abusive behaviour of a physical, sexual or emotional nature from an intimate partner at some time in their lives, which equates to 88,000 men. It also found that men have a higher risk of minor Domestic Violence incidents and a lower risk of severe abuse incidents, but the researchers estimated that only 5% of men who had experienced Intimate Partner Violence had reported it to the authorities, compared to 29% of women. Domestic Violence supports to men are not exclusively supplied by male service providers, and men can and do contact Women’s Aid and Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, as well as local Domestic and Sexual Violence service providers. Tusla supports two services that specifically provide nationwide support to men who experience Domestic Violence and Abuse. These are: • The Men’s Development Network and • Men’s Aid Ireland Both deliver a range of supports to men impacted by Domestic Abuse, including phone support, court services, therapeutic supports and Outreach. The Men’s Development Network operates the RESPECT UK model of working with male victims and the Male Domestic Violence Advice Line. The Respect model of intervention works with both victims and perpetrators of Domestic Violence. For more information, see https://www.respect. uk.net/.

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Watson, D. and Parsons, S. (2005) ‘Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland: Report on the National Study of Domestic Abuse’, The National Crime Council, Economic and Social Research Institute.

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Tactics of Coercive Control In line with current research and understanding of this issue, Domestic Abuse is frequently best understood in accordance with the tactics of Coercive Control, in which control is ultimately achieved by the perpetrator by a sustained and systematic pattern of abusive behaviour over a period of time. The following is not an exhaustive list of abusive behaviours, and not everyone will experience all of them, but it presents a sample range of such behaviours that may be employed by a perpetrator.

DOMESTIC ABUSE/COERCIVE CONTROL Physical Abuse

Pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping, punching, restraining, using weapons or threats to use weapons, destroying possessions Showing a lack of consideration for your safety, e.g. dangerous driving (Note: Such acts can be physically abusive even if they do not result in physical injury.)

Sexual Abuse

Rape (including being forced to perform unwanted sexual acts or to have non-consensual sex with others) Being pressured to agree to sex and/or made to feel guilty for not having sex Unwanted touching of sexual/private parts Degrading treatment based on sexual orientation Withholding contraception or controlling access to contraception Forced pregnancy/abortion Being forced to watch pornography or participate in the making of it

Financial Abuse

Denying you access to money, including your own Demanding that the family live on inadequate resources by withholding money for food, household or personal items Incurring debt in your name & coerced debt Making significant financial decisions without consultation Selling your possessions Sabotaging your ability to work or maintain work (Note: These can be contributing factors to women becoming ‘trapped’ in violent situations.)

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Emotional & Psychological Abuse

Any behaviour that deliberately undermines your confidence, e.g. leads you to believe you are stupid, a ‘bad person’, useless, insane etc. Acts that humiliate, intimidate, degrade and demean you Threats to harm you, your friends, family, children and/or pets Threats to take their own life or die by suicide and/or to self-harm Silence and withdrawal as a means of control

Digital Abuse

Sharing intimate and private pictures or messages online Harassing you by sending insulting or threatening messages via text, email, social media or phone Monitoring your online activity and/or checking your search history ‘Liking’ a post you are contributing to so they can ‘follow’ you Social engineering by using your identity Using technology as a tracking device Accessing your online accounts, emails and phone to check on you Reprogramming utilities, e.g. turning the heat/lights on/off remotely Using phone to access cameras that are in the house to monitor you

Social Abuse

Stopping you from seeing friends, family or other people directly/ indirectly Not allowing you outside your home, room or accommodation Not allowing you to participate in social and community activities Needing to know everywhere you have been or are going

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As a professional, you may hear the following buzzwords, terms & phrases: EMOTIONAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL • Threatened • Fearful • Humiliated • Criticised • Embarrassed • Walking on eggshells • Monitoring of time • Micro-regulation • Gaslighting • Love bombing • Possessive • Being blamed

SEXUAL SEXUAL • Rape & sexual assault • Forcing unwanted sex • Revenge porn • Sharing/threatening to share private Images • Non-consensual • Sexual degradation • Sexual rejection

FINANCIAL & SOCIAL • • • • • •

Withholding finances Being forced to take a loan Prevented from getting a car and/or job Coerced debt Entrapment Poverty

DIGITAL • • • • •

Harassed online Checking search history Demanding passwords Sharing intimate pictures Threats via texts, email, social media, telephone • Remote monitoring • Stalking

SOCIAL

PHYSICAL • • • • • • • •

Biting Bruising Pulling hair Choking Burning Fractures Starving Destroying possessions

• • • • • •

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Isolation from family and friends Restricting/monitoring movements Limiting/denying use of car Denying use of phone/internet Restricting daily activities Sabotaging relationships


Effects of Domestic Abuse Domestic Abuse/Coercive Control is a deliberate pattern of behaviour by an abuser over a prolonged period of time designed to achieve obedience and create fear. Complex trauma is the result of this prolonged exposure to abuse and control. When working with families impacted by Domestic Abuse/Coercive Control, it is important for professionals to understand the impact of trauma on the person being abused and to consider not only the effects of the abuse but also the factors that contribute to impact and resilience. The following is not an exhaustive list, and not everyone who is abused will experience all of these effects.

WOMEN

• Panic attacks • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder • Anxiety • Suicidal ideation/attempted suicide • Exhaustion • Low self-esteem/self-doubt • Social isolation • Loss of employment/homelessness/poverty • Reproductive health issues, e.g. unwanted pregnancy/miscarriage/contraceptive issues • Substance abuse • Physical injury/death

MEN

• Panic attacks • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder • Anxiety • Suicidal ideation/attempted suicide • Exhaustion • Low self-esteem/self-doubt • Social isolation • Loss of employment/homelessness/poverty • Substance abuse • Physical injury

CHILDREN

• Bed-wetting/nightmares/flashbacks • Stress-related illness (skin conditions etc.) • Eating difficulties • Attachment issues • School refusal • Low self-esteem • Anxiety • Isolation amongst peers • Self-harm • Suicide • Anger issues • Death

FAMILY / RELATIONSHIPS

• Resentment • Homelessness • Isolation • Intergenerational cycle • Mental health issues • Scapegoating • Perpetrator may have negative impact on relationship with victim & children • Perpetrator may have negative impact on professionals/community • Helplessness • Fear

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How to Recognise Domestic Abuse6 – Information for Professionals Professionals working with children and families need to be able to recognise the signs of Domestic Abuse. It is essential that we are able to respond in the best way as well as being aware of local resources for seamless referral. Professionals need to make themselves aware of their agencies’ policies and procedures regarding Domestic Abuse and avail of training. Organisations should make their work environment a safe space for the victim of Domestic Abuse to talk about their experiences. They should establish a referral pathway with their local DV service where they can receive materials, information and guidance in relation to recognising and responding to Domestic Abuse/Coercive Control. Staff should be encouraged to make themselves familiar with local Domestic Abuse services and how they should respond to a disclosure of Domestic Abuse. Some suggestions for workplaces include: • Displaying posters, brochures and information about local, regional and national Domestic Abuse services • Placing information in public conveniences that victims can discreetly collect • Providing ongoing training to staff regarding Domestic Abuse service provision and how to respond to a disclosure of Domestic Abuse

Recognise the Signs • The victim might be afraid of their partner • There may be talk about the person’s temper, anger or possessiveness • There may be bruising or injury with the excuse of an ‘accident’ • The victim may have a history of alcohol/substance misuse • The victim may be constantly accompanied by their partner with limited opportunity to engage • Erratic attendance at work and/or college • The victim may seem to be controlled and stopped from seeing family and friends

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www.safeireland.ie.

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Response Victims of Domestic Abuse are not likely to disclose information about their experience unless directly asked. When a person discloses that he/she has experienced Domestic Abuse, however, this indicates that he/she trusts and values the professional’s/person’s help and advice.

Keep in Mind • Confidentiality is crucial • Listen and be supportive but non-judgemental • Assure the person that no one deserves to be abused, despite what the perpetrator says • Remind the person that being abusive and violent is against the law in Ireland • Provide accurate local information about available services and how to access them • Respect the person’s decisions, and let them know you are there to support them • Document the disclosure and any injuries • Remember the most dangerous time for a victim of Domestic Abuse is often when he/she is just about to leave their abuser • Consider the victim may be best placed to assess their own risk • Be aware of the limits of confidentiality, i.e. Child Protection concerns

Refer to the local and national supports sections for details of local/regional/national Domestic Violence services and supports.

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Warning Signs that Indicate a Potential Abusive Situation • A person who has a sense of entitlement that their needs are more important than everyone else’s • A person who needs to have power and control in the relationship • A person who blames their partner for any issues that occur in the relationship • A person who doesn’t take any responsibility • A person who does not allow themselves to be challenged • A person who is disrespectful in general • A person who lacks empathy • A person who is unavailable when their partner needs support • A person who needs the full focus of attention on themselves and their needs at all times7

Am I in an Abusive Relationship?8 • Your partner constantly puts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself • You are arguing one day, and things are great the next • They often make you feel guilty • They are jealous of your other friends • You feel like it’s your responsibility to fix things • You change yourself to please them • You worry about ‘setting them off’ and feel like you have to watch what you say • You feel anxious or unwell when you know you’re going to see them • They text and call you constantly • You have lost confidence in yourself • They break your trust

Am I an Abusive Person?9 Behaviours • Have I repeatedly scared someone with my behaviour? • Have I taken advantage of or exploited the trust of another person? • Have I repeatedly bullied or belittled someone either in private or in front of others? Roscommon Safelink. https://spunout.ie/life/article/shr-toxic-relationships. 9 https://spunout.ie/health/article/bse-scc-am-i-an-abusive-person. 7 8

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• Have I attempted to control the behaviours or social interactions of another person? • Have I repeatedly monitored the behaviour or whereabouts of another person? • Have I repeatedly broken promises to change my behaviour?

Thoughts • Do I think that I cannot control my own behaviour? • Do I deny or minimise the seriousness of my behaviour? • Do I think that an individual disrespects me when they don’t act the way that I want them to? • Do I think other people or substances (drugs, alcohol, medication etc.) are to blame for my own behaviour? • Do I think that hurting myself or others is the best/only course of action? • Do I think that having personally experienced violence or abuse that I can do the same to others or that this excuses my behaviour? • Do I have very strict views on how people should act or behave?

Feelings • Do I feel more relaxed or get a ‘high’ after I have been angry, abusive or violent? • Do I feel unable to cope with unpleasant thoughts or feelings? • Do I feel more in control after I have put someone down or physically hurt them? • Do I feel disrespected when someone does not do what I ask? • Do I feel excessively jealous when someone is speaking to or spending time with others?

What Can I Do? If you are worried about your behaviour, thoughts or feelings, seek help. • The first step is admitting to yourself that you have been abusive towards your partner, family or friends. • Changing your behaviour will be a challenging process. Seek help from a counsellor to work through your feelings, and learn how to change your behaviour. You cannot go through it alone. • Know that it is never acceptable to be abusive towards another person. You must make the choice to end your behaviour. • Remember that no one else is ever to blame for your own abusive behaviour. • Understand the different types of abuse, such as physical, emotional, sexual, financial and psychological.

More regional and national services can be found at www.safeireland.ie/gethelp/where-tofind-help/

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Current Legislation: Domestic Violence Act 201810,11,12,13,14 Introduction The Domestic Violence Act 2018 superseded the Domestic Violence Act 1996 and the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2002 and brought in significant changes in this domain, such as guidelines, extension eligibility for orders and intimate relationships being considered an aggravating circumstance in sentencing. A new offence of Coercive Control of a spouse, civil partner or intimate partner also came into force with the 2018 Act. Coercive Control is a pattern of intimidation, humiliation and controlling behaviour that causes fear of violence or serious distress that has a substantial impact on the victim’s day-to-day activities.

Who can apply for a Domestic Violence Order? All partners in an intimate relationship are eligible for Safety and Protection orders, with no need of cohabitation – this was a new development with the 2018 Act. The relationship only needs to be ‘intimate’ (and not also ‘committed’ as previously) and does not cease to be an ‘intimate relationship’ for the purposes of this Act for the sole reason that it is no longer sexual in nature.

Domestic Violence Orders There are four main orders, which are outlined and described below. They will apply differently according to the needs of the person applying for an order.

What is a protection order? Between the time of making an application for a safety order (or barring order) and the court’s determination (decision), there may be reasonable grounds for believing that the safety and welfare of a person or of a dependent person is at risk. If so, the court can grant a protection order to prohibit the respondent from: • Using or threatening to use violence • If the person is not living with you, watching or being near your home • Following or communicating with you or a dependent person.

A protection order is temporary and only effective until the court hearing for the application for a safety order (or barring order).

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What is a safety order? A safety order is an instruction from the court which stops the violent person (the respondent) from committing further violence or threats of violence. The respondent does not have to leave the home. If the person is not living with you, the safety order prohibits (bans) them from watching or being near your home and following or communicating (including electronically) with you or a dependent person such as a child. A safety order can last up to five years. From 1 January 2019, people in an intimate relationship are also able to apply for a safety order. Previously, couples had to cohabit (live together) to be able to obtain a safety order, but this is no longer the case. The following people can apply for a protection or safety order: • Spouses and civil partners • Parents with a child in common • Partners in an intimate relationship including cohabitants (a couple living together) and dating partners (a couple not living together) • Parents of an abusive child if that child is over 18 • People residing with the respondent in a non-contractual relationship, such as two relatives living together

Former partners are also able to apply; for example, a former spouse or cohabitant.

What is a barring order? A barring order requires the violent person to leave the home and prohibits (bans) the person from entering the home. The order also prohibits the person from • Further violence or threats of violence • Watching or being near your home, or • Following or communicating (including electronically) with you or a dependent person.

A barring order can last up to three years. The following people can apply for a barring order: • Spouses and civil partners • Cohabitants who live in an intimate relationship (the applicant must satisfy the property test, that is, they must have an equal or greater interest in the property than the respondent) • Parents when the abuser is a non-dependent child who is an adult

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What is an interim barring order? Between the time of making an application for a barring order and the court’s determination (decision), there may be reasonable grounds for believing that your safety and welfare or that of a dependent person is at risk. If so, the court can grant a protection order (see above) or an interim barring order. An interim barring order is an immediate order. It requires the violent person to leave the home where there is an immediate risk of significant harm to you or a dependent person and a protection order would not give sufficient protection.

What is an emergency barring order? The Domestic Violence Act 2018 provides for a new order called an emergency barring order. This requires the violent person to leave the home and prohibits the person from entering the home. An emergency barring order is an immediate order where there are reasonable grounds to believe there is an immediate risk of significant harm to you or a dependent person. Unlike an interim barring order, the applicant does not have to satisfy the property test to be able to get an emergency barring order. This means the applicant does not need to own, co-own or have their name on the lease of the property. An emergency barring order can last for a maximum of eight working days. It prohibits the same behaviours as a barring order.

Key Points For all orders, the court can also now include a prohibition on following or communicating (including by electronic means) with the applicant or the dependent person /child. When granting barring, safety or emergency barring orders, the court can now also recommend that the respondent engages in a perpetrator programme, an addiction service, counselling or a financial planning programme. The court may consider the engagement of the perpetrator with such services and any outcomes when renewing, dismissing or varying an order. In such cases, the court will have to consider the views of the applicant. Domestic violence orders remain in force in respect of children after they reach the age of 18, until the orders expire. (Previously, they expired when the child reached 18 years old.)

Breaches of Court Orders Penalties for breaches are a class B fine and/or 12 months’ imprisonment. Breaches will also now be heard in camera, with restrictions on media reporting in order to maintain anonymity.

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Factors the court shall consider when deciding to grant or refuse a Domestic Violence court order The 2018 Act introduces factors that the court shall consider when deciding on an application for an order under the Domestic Violence Act. The factors are as follows: • history of violence by the respondent towards the applicant or any dependent person (i.e. child) • any conviction of the respondent for an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 that involves loss to the applicant or child • any conviction of the respondent for an offence that involves violence or the threat of violence to any person • increase in severity or frequency of violence towards the applicant or their children • exposure of children to violence inflicted by the respondent on the applicant or other child • previous order under this Act or the DV Act 1996 made against the respondent with regard to any person • history of animal cruelty • any destruction or damage to the personal property of the applicant, the respondent or a dependent person, or to any place where the applicant or a dependent person resides • any action of the respondent, not being a criminal offence, which puts the applicant or a dependent person in fear for his or her own safety or welfare • any recent separation between the applicant and the respondent • substance abuse (including alcohol) by the respondent, the applicant or a dependent person • access to weapons by the respondent, the applicant or a dependent person • the applicant’s perception of the risk to his or her own safety or welfare • the age and state of health (including pregnancy) of the applicant or any dependent person • any evidence of deterioration in the physical, psychological or emotional welfare of the applicant or a dependent person which is caused directly by fear of the behaviour of the respondent • whether the applicant is economically dependent on the respondent • if the respondent has engaged in perpetrator programmes, addiction services, counselling or financial planning services. (Note that this factor relates mostly to variation, appeals or renewal of orders. The court must seek the views of the applicant on whether engaging with such services has changed the behaviour of the respondent.) • any other relevant matter

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Key Points Note: This is not an exhaustive list, meaning the court can take into consideration anything else they deem relevant. The court will also have to give reasons as to why they grant or refuse an order. If the court is satisfied that the threshold for making an order has been reached, (that is, if the safety and welfare of the applicant requires it), it shall make an order.

Children’s views on orders sought on their behalf Children will be able to make their views known to the court where a safety or barring order is sought on behalf of, or will partly relate to, a child. The court will have the option of appointing an expert to assist the court to ascertain the views of the child.

Divisional Protective Services Units The establishment of Divisional Protective Services Units (DPSUs) is one of the actions outlined in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence and is designed to deliver a consistent and professional approach to the investigation of specialised crime types, including Sexual Crime, Child Abuse and Domestic Abuse. In Louth and Meath, where these divisions have been set up, they are overseen by an Inspector and are led by a Garda Sergeant with a team of officers in each county. Cases are referred to the DPSU from the main stations in each county. DPSUs are comprised of detectives appointed to investigate all allegations of Sexual Abuse (current or historical), Domestic Abuse involving Coercive Control and /or serious assault, and Child Sexual Abuse.

Women’s Aid Brief on the new Domestic Violence Act www.citizensinformation.ie 12 FLAC briefing on the New Domestic Violence Act 13 www.gov.ie 14 www.garda.ie 10 11

22 | Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack


Interventions with Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse NEDVIP (North East Domestic Violence Intervention Project) Tel.: 042 932 7670/086 817 9604 Email: nedvip@eircom.net NEDVIP was established in 2006 as part of an interagency response to the problem of Domestic Abuse in the region. The aim of the project is to enhance the safety of women and children by offering effective interventions to men who are abusive in the intimate context. The project has two main strands: A) A 30-week Intervention programme for men who are referred through the courts via the Probation Service or Tusla Social Work Service; B) A parallel support service for partners or ex-partners of the referred men. The Project is overseen by an interagency steering committee comprising the Probation Service, Gardaí, Women’s Aid Dundalk and Drogheda Women’s and Children’s Refuge Centre. This project has now wrapped up and MOVE now operate the Choices Programme in Dundalk with Partner Contact Support provided by Women’s Aid Dundalk.

MOVE Ireland MOVE Ireland (Men Overcoming Violence) is a voluntary organisation which works to address domestic violence against women. Our overriding goal is to promote the safety and wellbeing of women and their children who have experienced violence and abuse in their intimate relationships. MOVE provides Domestic Violence Perpetrators Intervention Programmes for men, where they are challenged to take responsibility for their abuse, to change their attitudes and behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships. Taking part in a MOVE programme can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, including children who have been affected. Values and Principles • Safety of women and children is paramount • The causes of domestic violence are multifactorial • Gender-based inequality is a critical factor but so too are early childhood trauma and emotional dysregulation Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 23


• Violence is unacceptable and is a crime • Individuals need to be held accountable and take responsibility for their violence, recognising that violence is always a choice • Violence is a learned behaviour, and change is possible • Men attending intervention programmes should experience a respectful and personcentred environment which is conducive to change • The woman’s voice and experience are always central to the groupwork with men • Men who commit serious offences against women should be dealt with and made responsible for their behaviour through the judicial system. Structure The head office is located in Ennis, County Clare and provides administrative and operational support nationally. There are currently MOVE programmes in the following areas: • Athlone • Cork • Dublin (Swords, Tallaght and City Central) • Galway • Kerry • Limerick/Clare • Meath • North Tipperary • Sligo MOVE Coordinators ensure the smooth running of the programmes locally. Their contact details are as follows: • MOVE GALWAY, SLIGO, MIDLANDS (ATHLONE) – Contact: 085 874 8108 • MOVE CORK – Contact: 086 604 4047 • MOVE DUBLIN, MEATH, TALLAGHT, SWORDS – Contact: 086 414 9591 • MOVE LIMERICK/CLARE, NORTH TIPPERARY, KERRY – Contact: 086 414 9613 Partner Contact Services are contracted by MOVE Ireland in each area to provide support to current or ex-partners. This is an integral part of the programme. Whilst every effort is made to engage with the current or ex-partner, MOVE Ireland fully appreciates that some women will choose not to take up the offer of support.

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The CHOICES programme The CHOICES programme is run both as a fixed and rolling programme to allow men to access the programme at three intervals. The programme is a group work intervention giving men the opportunity to learn about the impact of their destructive behaviour on the family. It also supports them to develop the necessary skills to live non-abusively. Individual sessions supplement the group work and occur at the beginning of, during and after the programme. Men are brought onto the programme when a space becomes available or when a group starts when run as a fixed group. The programme covers six discrete modules: • Support and Trust • Sexual Respect • Emotional Intimacy • Gender • Respect • Parenting Much of the work is based on cognitive behavioural therapy, focusing on motivation, responsibility, safety and acknowledgement. Men are also taught mindfulness techniques to increase self-awareness and to develop capacities to observe and change their own reactions. Whilst on the programme, men will be offered the opportunity to • Learn about the effects and consequences of domestic violence on their partner and family • Participate in group sessions with other individuals who have behaved in a similar way • Talk openly about their behaviour and the people affected by it • Identify their beliefs and attitudes which underpin violence and abuse • Cope with their behaviour and vulnerable feelings in difficult situations • Learn how to react without being abusive and to communicate more respectfully • Learn about respectful and responsible parenting • Learn to understand and recognise the need to change their behaviour Criteria for suitability for Choices programme • A pattern of acknowledged or proven Domestic Abuse • The man’s ability to accept some responsibility for his abuse and violence

Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 25


• A willingness to want to change the way he behaves • A readiness and ability to work in a group setting

Partner Support • Support is offered to current and ex-partners while men are on the programme and post-programme support for an additional three months • Not all women choose to access the support

Key Tasks • Provides advice and support through face-to-face work and telephone support • Informs the (ex-)partner about the content of the CHOICES programme • Provides information about other local services in their area • Provides feedback on the impact the programme is having on their relationship

How to refer • Men are referred by a professional or agency they may be working with e.g. social services, counsellor, GP, or they can refer themselves directly (self-referral) • The person referred to MOVE should not have committed sexual offences against children or be the subject of a current investigation in relation to child sexual abuse • The potential participant is encouraged to make the initial contact by phone to the appropriate local coordinator • Referral forms can be downloaded from our website at www.moveireland.ie

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Online Resources Bright Sky app Bright Sky Ireland,15 created in partnership with the UKbased Domestic Abuse charity Hestia along with Women’s Aid Ireland and An Garda Síochána, provides a questionnaire for users to assess the safety of their relationship whilst also enabling them to search their area, Eircode or current location to locate their nearest support service. The app is also designed to be used by specialist and nonspecialist practitioners and other employers, and by anyone looking for information about issues around domestic abuse, such as online safety, stalking/harassment and sexual consent. The app’s digital journal feature is designed to allow users to securely log incidents of domestic abuse using the text, audio, photo or video functions, without any of the content being saved on the device. This evidence can then be given to Gardaí and can be used to help secure prosecutions. Other features of the app include information on different types of abuse, sexual violence, stalking and harassment, as well as insight on the types of support available, how to help a loved one if you think they might be in an abusive relationship and a section with guidance on things to consider if you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship. Bright Sky Ireland is available to download on the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.

Too Into You Too Into You is a website run in conjunction with Women’s Aid. The website allows users to take quizzes to discover the signs of dating abuse and check out tips for keeping yourself and your friends safe. The website also features real-life stories, information on how to protect yourself online and legal advice.

15

https://www.hestia.org/news/bright-sky-ireland-launched-to-support-people-affected-by-domestic-abuse.

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Louth Local Support Services Women’s Aid Dundalk Email: info@womensaiddlk.net Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/womensaiddundalk Text support: 086 189 2439 Refuge: 042 933 7202 Admin: 042 933 3245 Women’s Aid Dundalk was founded in 1994 and provides the following range of PreCrisis, Crisis and Post-Crisis services to women and children and the wider community impacted by Domestic Abuse/Coercive Control. • 24 hour Helpline: 042 933 3244 (web, text and email support) • 1-2-1 Information & Support • Refuge Accommodation • Drop-In Court Service • Child Support Programmes, Play Therapy and Life Story Work • Accompaniment and Advocacy • Outreach Clinics and Support • Awareness-Raising and Education • Support Programme for Women: Power to Change • Community Childcare Service: The Playroom Project • National & Secondary Schools Programmes • Training for 3rd-level Students and Organisations

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Drogheda Women’s Refuge Tel.: 24 hour Helpline: 041 984 4550 Drogheda Refuge: 041 984 4998 Website: www.droghedarefuge.org Facebook: Drogheda Women’s Refuge Email: info@droghedarefuge.org Drogheda Women & Children’s Refuge provides support to women and children who experience Domestic Violence and Homelessness through the following: • Provision of safe refuge accommodation • General accompaniment & advocacy • 1:1 Information & support • Outreach support service & clinics • Court accompaniment • Transitional house • Childcare facility providing pre-school and after-school facility • Therapeutic support programmes for children: ‘How it looks to me’; ‘Say it your own way’; and ‘My family is changing’ • Drop-in childcare support for mothers in the refuge • Support & development programme for women • Aftercare support • Counselling support service

Louth Family Resource Centre Connect Family Resource Centre 171 Money More, Drogheda, Louth Tel: 041 984 6608/087 945 4557 Email: coordinatorconnectfrc@gmail.com Contact: Cliodhna Cunningham, Co-ordinator Facebook: Connect FRC Family Resource Centres provide a range of universal and targeted services and development opportunities that address the needs of families. Should you require support or advice, please contact one of the above numbers. You can find our full range of services on our website: www.connectfamilyresourcecentre.com Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 29


Tusla Child and Family Agency Prevention, Partnership and Family Support North Louth Family Support

Caroline Bowe – Family Support Services Tel: 042 935 1680 Email: caroline.bowe@tusla.ie

South Louth Family Support

Karen Byrne – Family Support Services Tel: 041 215 2300 Email: karenm.byrne1@tusla.ie

We are part of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. We offer a support service to families in Louth and Meath who are going through stressful or difficult times. We help families to cope better and improve their family life. If you are willing to work with us, we will support you and your children to deal with worries and improve your family’s quality of life so that your children are safe and achieving their full potential. We work with parents from all cultures and backgrounds and their children up to the age of 18 – but only with the willing participation of families.

Tusla Child and Family Agency Louth Child and Family Support Networks Senior Child & Family Support Network Coordinator

Sandra Stafford Email: sandra.stafford@tusla.ie Tel: 046 907 3178

Louth Meath Child and Family Support Network Coordinator (Meitheal)

Paula McCabe ­—North Louth Tel: 042 935 1680 paula.mccabe1@tusla.ie Ann Marie Kidd ­— South Louth Tel: 041 215 2300 Annmarie.kidd@tusla.ie

Meitheal is a Tusla-led early intervention Practice Model designed to ensure that the strengths and needs of children and their families are effectively identified, understood and responded to in a timely way, so that children and families get the help and support needed to improve children’s outcomes and realise their rights. It is a multi-agency (when necessary) response tailored to the needs of the individual child or young person. Meitheal is voluntary and can only be undertaken when the parent/carer provides their written consent. It is used in partnership with parents to help them share their own knowledge, expertise and concerns about their child and to hear the views of practitioners working with them. The ultimate goal is to enable parents and practitioners to work together to achieve a better life for the child. This team is part of the wider PPFS team.

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Louth Meath Tusla Child and Family Agency Social Work Dedicated Point of Contact Louth Meath

Dedicated Point of Contact Louth Meath Tusla Child and Family Agency Meath Enterprise Centre Trim Road Navan County Meath Tel: 046 909 8560/909 8500

The Dedicated Point of Contact (DPC)/Screening Team provides advice to professionals, parents, family members, members of the public and young people who are concerned for the safety of children and young people. DPC ensures that the worries regarding children and young people’s immediate safety are assessed appropriately and have a response according to the level of harm and impact on the children or young people. DPC screens the concerns reported by engaging with parents, children and extended family and professionals. It is important that DPC is contacted when there are reasonable grounds of concern that a child is being harmed, may have been harmed or is at risk of being harmed. If you are unsure, please contact DPC to discuss your concerns so DPC can give advice on what needs to happen. When the DPC Social Worker identifies that there is harm and/or impact present for children, an Interim Safety Plan is agreed and the case is prepared for Initial Assessment, or the case closes to the Department if sufficient safety measures can be identified and agreed.

An Garda Siochána District

Station

Phone

Dundalk

District Office

042 933 2585

Drogheda

District Office

041 987 4200

Ardee

District Office

041 685 3222

DPSU Castlebellingham

042 939 9270

Detective Sergeant Gerard Collins DPSU Castlebellingham

Gerard.w.collins@garda.ie

Detective Sergeant Karen McDonnell DPSU Castlebellingham

Karen.m.mcdonnell@garda.ie

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Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) Tel: 046 902 7303 Helpline Number: 1890 252 563 A free HSE counselling service for people with mild to moderate psychological difficulties. It is a short-term service that provides counselling to medical card holders who are 18 years of age or over and who want help with psychological problems that are appropriate for time-limited counselling in primary care. Referrals are made through GPs or members of the HSE Primary Care Team and can be posted to HSE Counselling in Primary Care Service, 34 Brews Hill, Navan, Co. Meath or via Healthmail to cipc.ne@hse.ie. Referral forms and service information are available at https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/ mental-health-services/counsellingpc/. Appointments are available from different HSE premises across the region. During the Covid-19 pandemic, appointments are available by telephone or online video call, and some evening appointments are also available. The service is suitable for people who are experiencing difficulties such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, loss issues and stress.

Counselling Services Dundalk Counselling Centre 3 Seatown Place, Townparks, Dundalk, Co. Louth. A91 FY67

Tel: 042 933 8333 Website: www.dundalkcounsellingcentre.ie Email: info@dundalkcounsellingcentre.ie

Dundalk Counselling Centre CLG is a community-based, voluntary and non-profit organisation established in 1982 and offers its services throughout the North East Region of Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Armagh & Down. Its main aim is to provide professional therapeutic counselling to all in the community regardless of their social class, religious persuasion or race, with special emphasis on the socially deprived and disadvantaged, irrespective of their means. Our service is staffed by professionally trained counsellors. It operates to the highest standards, and our counsellors are accredited or are working towards accreditation with the IACP (Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), IAHIP (Irish Association for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy) & FTAI (Family Therapy Association Ireland). We offer individual therapeutic counselling to adults, adolescents and children, and Family therapeutic counselling to couples & families. We are a low-cost therapy service; fees are based on what each individual can afford. Our main funders are Tusla, Child & Family Agency and the Department of Justice Support for Victims of Crime.

Rian Counselling Counselling for adults who have experienced childhood abuse. For more details about Rian Counselling, please refer to Meath local support services. Phone: 1800 234 117. 32 | Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack


COVID-19 Bereavement Counselling Support Service (CIPC) Tel: 046 902 7303 The CIPC service in the North East is currently also providing a Bereavement counselling support service for family members or others impacted by grief or by the death of a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic. This HSE service is provided by telephone or online video call and is available for adults aged over 18. During the Covid-19 pandemic, evening appointments are also available. Referrals can be posted to HSE Bereavement Counselling Support Service, 34 Brews Hill, Navan, Co. Meath or via Healthmail to cipc. ne@hse.ie Alternatively, service users can self-refer on the above number. This is a free service and a GMS card is not required. The service is suitable for people who are experiencing difficulties such as Covid-19, bereavement, grief and stress.

Louth Court Services Email: dundalkcourtoffice@courts.ie Tel: 042 939 2300

Rape Crisis Centre North East Telephone: 042 933 9491 Helpline: 1800 21 21 22 Website: www.rcne.ie Email: info@rcne.ie Rape Crisis North East is a unique and specialised counselling, advocacy, information and support service for women, men and teenagers who have experienced any form of sexual violence and or sexual abuse. This includes rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Services can be accessed through our free phone confidential Helpline number: 1800 21 21 22. Services provided by Rape Crisis North East include: • Freephone confidential helpline • Crisis support and intervention • Short-term and long-term counselling & therapy for adults, both male and female • Face-to-face counselling and support for young people from the age of 12, both male and female • Counselling and support for families, friends and colleagues • Court accompaniment • Garda accompaniment • Medical accompaniment • Training and educational programmes • Information/talk sessions • Advocacy Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 33


Louth MABS The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is free, confidential and independent, whose dedicated and expert team offers free support and legal advice. Dundalk MABS 58/59 Anne Street Dundalk Co. Louth A91 RF97

Tel: 0818 07 2540 Email: dundalk@mabs.ie

Drogheda MABS 1 Mayoralty Street Drogheda Co. Louth A92 ADC9

Tel: 0818 07 2490 Email: drogheda@mabs.ie

Opening Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm

Opening Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm

SOSAD SOSAD Dundalk Phone: 042 932 7311 SOSAD Drogheda Phone: 041 984 8754 SOSAD Ireland provides support for clients aged 16 and up, in several ways: • • • • • •

A safe & comfortable place to talk and be listened to Initial meeting (to establish need) Professional counselling Bereavement support Follow-up support Referral to most appropriate Support Service available

We operate a 24/7 365 day helpline for anyone feeling depressed, suicidal or anxious and who needs someone to talk to and listen to them. We also have a text-based messaging service which is accesible via our website from 8pm to midnight, 7 days a week.

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Meath Local Support Services Meath Women’s Refuge Telephone: 046 902 2393/086 189 5878 Website: www.dvservicesmeath.ie Email: manager@dvservicesmeath.ie MWRSS is an NGO and local domestic violence support agency with a catchment area of Co. Meath. We have been working in the community for 30 years and have a strong track record of supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence. We work closely with a wide range of stakeholders to fulfil our mission statement and seek innovative responses to domestic violence in Co. Meath. We are clear that domestic violence is a violation of human rights, and through our work we seek to vindicate the rights of women and children affected by domestic violence. As a domestic violence support service, we provide a wide range of services across the following areas: • 24-hour Helpline: Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services provide a 24 hour helpline that operates 365 days a year to provide information and support to women who experience or are at risk of domestic violence. • Refuge Support: We provide emergency refuge accommodation for women and children in Co. Meath 365 days a year. Families in refuge are provided with a wide range of supports and services on issues such as social welfare, legal supports, supports for children etc. • Outreach Programme: We work across the community in Meath with women who experience or are at risk of domestic violence and provide one-to-one support for the completion of court applications and court accompaniment for women who want to apply for domestic violence orders in the courts. We can attend court three days a week. Women can contact our service for court support. • A bi-weekly support group is provided to women in a peer-to-peer setting, and a 12-week group programme takes place twice a year to support women’s recovery from domestic violence. • Children’s Programme: The children’s programme supports the development and support needs of children impacted by domestic abuse in their families. Supports are provided to children in refuge and in the community. Children who require more intensive one-to-one therapeutic supports may be referred to our play therapy or music therapy support services. Appropriate referrals are also made to other agencies for children who have additional needs. The programme also provides group programmes for children and young people such as the Good to Be Me programme and TLC Kidz. • Recovery: Therapeutic Counselling Services are a core support provided to women who need this support through a referral service by key workers and outreach workers in the organisation. This includes one-to-one counselling face-to-face, by phone or online. We also provide Art therapy, which is done in a face-to-face setting

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MOVE Ireland Co-ordinator, Meath MOVE: Avril Bailey: 086 414 9591 MOVE Head Office: 065 684 8689 Move Men overcoming violence works in the area of domestic abuse with the primary aim of supporting the safety and wellbeing of women and their children who are experiencing violence/abuse within an intimate relationship. Move does this by facilitating the men in a weekly group programme and on a 1-1 basis. This programme aims for the men on the programme to look at and take responsibility for their violence, abuse and actions, and choose to behave differently in the future. Men on this programme can learn to stop the violence, identify other ways of expressing strong feelings safely and explore how their behaviour affects the whole family. Partner Contact: All partners/ex-partners of the men on the programme are offered information, support and safety planning during and after their partner’s/ex-partner’s attendance on the programme. If you are or have been abusive to your partner or ex-partner, you can take the first step to changing this by contacting MOVE Ireland.

Meath Springboard Family Services Telephone: 046 907 8220 | 046 90 78221 Website: www.meathspringboardfamilysupportservices.ie Email: shay@springboardnavan.ie Meath Springboard provides a range of services aimed at supporting families experiencing difficulties. Meath Springboard endeavours to empower parents to be the best they can be and to ensure that family life is a happy and nurturing experience for all. Meath Springboard supports families impacted by separation, addiction, abuse, bereavement, poverty, discrimination, poor mental health, homelessness, domestic violence and parenting difficulties. Services include: • Tailored Programmes of Family Support providing one-to-one intensive support to parent(s) and child(ren) to help them address issues that are impacting on their wellbeing • Group Work — He’s My Dad (fathers support group), The Connect Womens Group (mothers support group), the Young Mums Group (mothers under the age of 25) and Confident Me! (10-week children’s group targeting self-esteem, confidence and problem-solving) • Low-cost Counselling Service – subsidised counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and play therapy for children and adults • The Childrens Access Support Service (fee-paying service) provides a safe space where children can get to know and form relationships with their non-resident parent/family Open to referrals from parents, families & professionals. 36 | Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack


Meath Family Resource Centres East Coast FRC 1 Somerton, Triton Rd, Bettystown, Co. Meath

Website: crannsupportgroup.ie/eastcoastfamily resourcecentre Facebook: East Coast Family Resource Centre Email: frc@crannsupportgroup.ie Tel: 041 981 2230/087 644 3364 Kells Peoples Resource Centre

Old Carrick School, Lord Edward Street, Kells, Co. Meath

Website: www.kellsfrc.ie Email: info@kellsfrc.ie Facebook@kellsfrc Twitter@KellsFRC Tel: 046 924 7161 Trim Family Resource Centre

22 Mornington Drive Trim Co. Meath

Website: trimfamilyresourcecentre.ie Email: Info@trimfrc.ie Facebook: Trimfamily.resourcecentre Tel: 046 943 8850

Family Resource Centres provide a range of universal and targeted services and development opportunities that address the needs of families. County Meath has four Family Resource Centres: East Coast Family Resource Centre; Kells Peoples Resource Centre; Trim Family Resource Centre; and Navan Family Resource Centre (see below for more details).

Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 37


Tusla Child and Family Agency Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Family Support Practitioner Team

Tusla-Child and Family Agency Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath Tel: 046 909 8621 Manager: Louise O’Keeffe

Navan Family Resource Centre Team

Tusla-Child and Family Agency Navan Family Resource Centre, Commons Road, Navan, Co. Meath Tel: 046 907 3178 Manager: Marlena Porter

We are part of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. We offer a support service to families in Louth and Meath who are going through stressful or difficult times. We help families to cope better and improve family life. If you are willing to work with us, we will support you and your children to deal with worries and improve your family’s quality of life so that your children are safe and achieving their full potential. We work with parents from all cultures and backgrounds and their children up to the age of 18 – but only if parents want us to.

Tusla Child and Family Agency Meath Child & Family Support Networks Senior Child & Family Support Network Co-ordinator, Louth/Meath

Sandra Stafford Email: sandra.stafford@tusla.ie Tel: 046 907 3178

Child and Family Support Network Co-ordinators (Meitheal)

Alice O’Halloran East & South Meath Tel: 087 227 5645 Email: alice.ohalloran@tusla.ie Jackie Jackson North & South Meath Tel: 087 770 4042 Email: jackie.jackson@tusla.ie

Meitheal is a Tusla-led Early Intervention Practice Model designed to ensure that the strengths and needs of children and their families are effectively identified, understood and responded to in a timely way so that children and families get the help and support needed to improve children’s outcomes and realise their rights. It is an early intervention, multi-agency (when necessary) response, tailored to the needs of the individual child or young person. Meitheal is voluntary and can only be undertaken when the parent/carer provides their written consent.

38 | Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack


Meitheal is used in partnership with parents to help them share their own knowledge, expertise and concerns about their child and to hear the views of practitioners working with them. The ultimate goal is to enable parents and practitioners to work together to achieve a better life for the child. All services working with children and young people under 18 years can begin a Meitheal process. The CFSN Coordination team in your area will support you to do this.

Louth Meath Tusla Child and Family Agency Social Work Dedicated Point of Contact Louth Meath

Dedicated Point of Contact Louth Meath Tusla Child and Family Agency Meath Enterprise Centre Trim Road Navan County Meath Tel: 046 909 8560/909 8500

The Dedicated Point of Contact (DPC)/Screening Team provides advice to professionals, parents, family members, members of the public and young people who are concerned for the safety of children and young people. DPC ensures that the worries regarding children and young people’s immediate safety are assessed appropriately and have a response according to the level of harm and impact on the children or young people. DPC screens the concerns reported by engaging with parents, children and extended family and professionals. It is important that DPC is contacted when there are reasonable grounds of concern that a child is being harmed, may have been harmed or is at risk of being harmed. If you are unsure, please contact DPC to discuss your concerns so DPC can give advice on what needs to happen. When the DPC Social Worker identifies that there is harm and/or impact present for children, an Interim Safety Plan is agreed and the case is prepared for Initial Assessment, or the case closes to the Department if sufficient safety measures can be identified and agreed.

An Garda Siochána District

Station

Phone

Ashbourne

Navan Garda Station

Tel: 046 903 6100

Drogheda

Ashbourne Garda Station

Tel: 01 801 0600

Kells

Kells Garda Station

Tel: 046 928 0820

Trim

Trim Garda Station

Tel: 046 948 1540

Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 39


Meath Court Services Meath Court Clerk – Tel: 046 948 1250 Email: trimcourtoffice@courts.ie

Rape Crisis Centre North East Telephone: 042 933 9491 Helpline: 1800 21 21 22 Website: www.rcne.ie Email: info@rcne.ie Rape Crisis North East is a unique and specialised counselling, advocacy, information and support service for women, men and teenagers who have experienced any form of sexual violence and or sexual abuse. This includes rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Services can be accessed through our free phone confidential Helpline number: 1800 21 21 22. Services provided by Rape Crisis North East include: • • • • • • • • • • •

Freephone confidential helpline Crisis support and intervention Short-term and long-term counselling & therapy for adults, both male and female Face-to-face counselling and support for young people from the age of 12, both male and female Counselling and support for families, friends and colleagues Court accompaniment Garda accompaniment Medical accompaniment Training and educational programmes Information/talk sessions Advocacy

Meath MABS Meath MABS: Tel: 0761 07 2680 Email: meath@mabs.ie Opening Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is free, confidential and independent from a dedicated and expert team with free support and free legal advice. 40 | Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack


SOSAD Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel: 046 907 7682 / Freephone: 1800 901 909 Website: sosadireland.ie SOSAD Ireland provides support for clients aged 16 and up, in several ways: • A safe & comfortable place to talk and be listened to • Initial meeting (to establish need) • Professional counselling • Bereavement support • Follow-up support • Referral to most appropriate Support Service available We operate a 24/7 365 day helpline for anyone feeling depressed, suicidal or anxious and who needs someone to talk to and listen to them. We also have a text-based messaging service which is accesible via our website from 8pm to midnight, 7 days a week.

Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) Tel: 046 902 7303 Helpline Number: 1890 252 563 A free HSE counselling service for people with mild to moderate psychological difficulties. It is a short-term service that provides counselling to medical card holders who are 18 years of age or over and who want help with psychological problems that are appropriate for time-limited counselling in primary care. Referrals are made through GPs or members of the HSE Primary Care Team and can be posted to HSE Counselling in Primary Care Service, 34 Brews Hill, Navan, Co. Meath or via Healthmail to cipc.ne@hse.ie. Referral forms and service information are available at https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/ mental-health-services/counsellingpc/. Appointments are available from different HSE premises across the region. During the Covid-19 pandemic, appointments are available by telephone or online video call, and some evening appointments are also available. The service is suitable for people who are experiencing difficulties such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, loss issues and stress.

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COVID-19 Bereavement Counselling Support Service (CIPC) Tel: 046 902 7303 The CIPC service in the North East is currently also providing a Bereavement counselling support service for family members or others impacted by grief or by the death of a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic. This HSE service is provided by telephone or online video call and is available for adults aged over 18. During the Covid-19 pandemic, evening appointments are also available. Referrals can be posted to HSE Bereavement Counselling Support Service, 34 Brews Hill, Navan, Co. Meath or via Healthmail to cipc. ne@hse.ie Alternatively, service users can self-refer on the above number. This is a free service and a GMS card is not required. The service is suitable for people who are experiencing difficulties such as Covid-19, bereavement, grief and stress.

Rian Counselling Service (NCS) HSE Rian Counselling Service 34 Brews Hill, Navan, Co. Meath

Freephone: 1800 234 110 Tel: 046 906 7010 Email via Healthmail to rian@hse.ie.

Rian Counselling Service is part of the HSE National Counselling Service (NCS) and is a free counselling service available to adults, aged 18 years or over, who have experienced abuse in their childhood. People can refer themselves directly by calling the Freephone number above. Healthcare professionals can also refer clients to HSE Rian Counselling Service. No GMS card is required. Appointments are available from different HSE premises across the region. During the Covid-19 pandemic, appointments are available by telephone or online video call, and some evening appointments are also available. The service is suitable for people who experienced trauma or abuse in their childhood such as emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

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National Support Services Women’s Aid Tel: 01 678 8858

Freephone: 1800 341900

Website: https://www.womensaid.ie Email: info@womensaid.ie The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline offers confidential information, support and understanding to women in the Republic of Ireland who are being abused by current or former boyfriends, partners or husbands. The service also supports family members, friends and professionals who have concerns about a person they know or are working with who might be experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The Helpline provides support to callers where English is not their first language through our Language Line facility (8am–8pm) and for women who are deaf or hard of hearing through its Text Service facility (8am–8pm). The Helpline aims to empower women to identify what is happening for them within their relationship, to support them to stay safe and support the safety of any children living within the relationship. The Helpline aims at all times to ensure that the responsibility for the abuse is placed firmly with the perpetrator of the abuse and not with the woman.

Safe ireland Tel.: 090 647 9078 Website: https://www.safeireland.ie/ Email: info@safeireland.ie Safe Ireland has the clear ambition to end domestic violence and make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children. Safe Ireland’s approach aims to: • • • •

Change social behaviour and attitudes Establish a whole system response to domestic violence Cultivate leadership at all levels in Irish society Communicate our understanding of the problem and enhance all of our capacity to respond. Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 43


Safe Ireland is working closely with its domestic violence service members around the country to ensure that women and children are kept fully informed about the services and refuges that are available to them throughout this time of national emergency. Safe Ireland will be keeping a rolling update on services, and this information can be found at https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. The Department of Justice and Equality have launched a public awareness campaign on domestic violence during COVID- 19. Information on this campaign can be found at https://www.stillhere.ie/

Rape Crisis Centre North East The Rape Crisis Centre Freephone Helpline number is open to those who need access to crisis counselling and support (Monday–Friday, 10.00am–4.00pm Contact: 1800 21 21 22 Afterhours National 24 hour helpline: 1800 77 8888 For existing clients of the Rape Crisis Centre: The therapist will make contact to arrange counselling appointments over the phone. Contact manager@rcne.ie for further information. For New Clients: To arrange an appointment, email manager@rcne.ie or phone 1800 21 21 22.

Men’s Aid Tel.: 01 554 3811 Website: https://www.mensaid.ie Email: hello@mensaid.ie Men’s Aid Ireland, formerly known as Amen, is a dedicated national service supporting men and their families experiencing domestic violence in Ireland. Our professional and qualified support team have years of experience in supporting men and families experiencing domestic abuse.

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Men’s Aid provide the following services: • National Confidential Helpline – 01 554 3811 • Legal clinic – Information about Safety Orders, Protection Orders, Barring Orders • One-to-one practical support – Explaining Court paperwork, Safety Planning, Care plans • Counselling – By telephone • Counselling – Face-to-face • Certified Training – All areas of domestic abuse, including Coercive Control

Male Advice Line Men’s Development Network Tel.: 1800 816 588 Email: men@mensnetwork.net The Male Advice Line was developed by the Men’s Development Network. Counsellors provide an outlet for men who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse in their relationship to speak confidentially with professionals who are trained to advise on domestic crime. For more information, refer to the following website link: https:// mensnetwork.ie/male-advice-line/ • Monday: 10am–6pm • Tuesday: 12pm–8pm • Wednesday: 10am–6pm • Thursday: 12pm–8pm • Friday: 2pm–6pm The Men’s Development Network also runs MEND, a national service working with perpetrators. See: https://mensnetwork.ie/mend/.

Move (Men Overcoming Violence) Tel.: 085 8748108 Website: http://www.moveireland.ie Email: move@moveireland.ie Move – Men Overcoming Violence works in the area of domestic violence, with the primary aim of supporting the safety and wellbeing of women and their children who are experiencing, or have experienced, violence/abuse in an intimate relationship. This is done through the CHOICES programme, which encourages men to: Louth Meath Domestic Abuse Resource Pack | 45


• Learn about the effects and consequences of domestic violence on their partner and family • Participate in group sessions with other individuals who have behaved in a similar way • Talk openly about their behaviour and the people affected by it • Identify the beliefs and attitudes which underpin violence and abuse • Cope with their behaviour and feelings in difficult situations • Learn how to react without being abusive • Learn about respect and responsible parenting • Learn to understand and recognise the need to change their behaviour

AkiDwA Tel.: (0)1 834 9851 Website: https://akidwa.ie/ Email: info@akidwa.ie AkiDwA recognises five types of sexual and gender-based violence: sexual violence; physical violence; emotional and psychological violence; harmful traditional practices; and socio-economic violence. However, based on our organisation’s expertise, AkiDwA’s work focuses on female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, forced marriages and trafficking. AkiDwA focuses on raising awareness of female genital mutilation by working with affected communities, healthcare professionals and front line service providers like schools, Gardaí (police) and with organisations working at policy level.

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New Communities Partnership Tel.: 01 872 7842 Website: https://www.newcommunities.ie/ Email: info@newcommunities.ie New Communities Partnership (NCP) is an independent national network of more than 100+ immigrant-led groups comprising 65 nationalities. Our membership comprises community and voluntary groups from Asian, Middle Eastern, North African, European, Caribbean, South American and African backgrounds. In addition to being the largest migrant-led network in Ireland, NCP also offers a number of services that assist migrants with social inclusion, child protection, education, training, employment, cultural understanding, citizenship etc.

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Louth Directory Service

Address

Telephone

Email

Drogheda Women’s Refuge

Drogheda, Co. Louth

24 HOUR HELPLINE 041 984 4550

Info@droghedarefuge.org

Women’s Aid Dundalk

Avenue Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth

24 HOUR HELPLINE 042 933 3244 042 933 7202

info@womensaiddlk.net

Connect Family Resource Centre

171 Moneymore, Drogheda, Co. Louth

041 984 6608 087 945 4557

coordinatorconnectfrc@gmail. com

Tusla Prevention Partnership and Family Support Services

North Louth

042 935 1680

Caroline.bowe@tusla.ie

South Louth

041 215 2300

Karenm.byrne1@tusla.ie

Child and Family Support Network Co-ordinators

Paula McCabe North Louth

042 935 1680

paula.mccabe1@tusla.ie

041 215 2300

Annmarie.kidd@tusla.ie

(Meitheal)

Ann Marie Kidd South Louth

Tusla Louth Meath Dedicated Point of Contact Social Work Department

Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath

046 909 8560 046 909 8500

Dundalk Court Clerk

The Courthouse, Magnet Road, Townspark, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 XHP6

042 939 2300

dundalkcourtoffice@courts.ie

Citizens Information Centre

Dundalk CIC 3-6 Adelphi Plaza, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 NN83

(0818) 075 950

dundalk@citinfo.ie

Drogheda CIC 86 West St, Drogheda, Co. Louth, A92 X209

(0818) 075 940

drogheda@citinfo.ie

Condil House, Roden Place, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 E6RE

042 933 0448

lawcentredundalk @legalaidboard.ie

Legal Aid Board

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Dundalk Office Government Buildings, St Alphonsus Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth A91 PP5W

(0818) 405 060

Drogheda Office Custom House Quay, Drogheda, Co. Louth A92 XPF2

(0818) 405 060

Dundalk Outcomers

8 Roden Place, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 RK2N

042 932 9816

Louth LEADER Partnership

Mayoralty Street, Drogheda, A92 V044

An Garda Síochána

Dundalk District Office

042 933 2585

An Garda Síochána

Drumad

042 935 8680

An Garda Síochána

Hackballscross

042 937 7142

An Garda Síochána

Omeath

042 937 5175

An Garda Síochána

Carlingford

042 937 3102

An Garda Síochána

Blackrock

042 932 2194

An Garda Síochána

Drogheda District Office

041 987 4200

An Garda Síochána

Clogherhead

041 982 2222

An Garda Síochána

Dunleer

041 685 1202

An Garda Síochána

Ardee District Office

041 685 3222

An Garda Síochána

Castlebellingham

042 939 9290

An Garda Síochána

Collon

041 982 6102

Louth Intreo Offices

info@dundalkoutcomers.org

Noirin.coghlan@cllp.ie

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Meath Directory Service

Address

Telephone

Email

Meath Women’s Refuge

39 Flower Hill, Blackcastle, Navan, Co. Meath, C15 HF72

(046) 902 2393

www.dvservicesmeath.ie

Men’s Aid (formally AMEN)

St Anne’s Resource Centre, Railway St, Navan, Co. Meath,

(01) 554 3811

hello@mensaid.ie

East Coast Family Resource Centre

Unit 2, Somerton, Betaghstown, Bettystown, Co. Meath

(041) 981 2230

frc@crannsupportgroup.ie

Kells Peoples Resource Centre

Lord Edward St, Townparks, Kells, Co. Meath

(046) 924 7161

info@kellsfrc.ie

Trim Family Resource 22 Mornington Drive, Centre Trim, Co. Meath

(046) 943 8850

info@trimfrc.ie

Springboard Mangan House, Meath Family Support Clonmagadden Road, Windtown, Navan, Co. Services Meath

(046) 907 8220

shay@springboardnavan.ie

Tusla-CFA Family Resource Centre

Commons Road, Navan, Co. Meath C15 CP23

(046) 907 3178

marlena.porter@tusla.ie

Senior Child and Family Support Network Co-ordinator Louth Meath

Tusla-CFA Family Resource Centre, Commons Road, Navan, Co. Meath C15 CP23

(046) 907 3178

sandra.stafford@tusla.ie

Tusla Child and Family Commons Road, Navan, Co. Meath Support Network C15 CP23 Coordinators

(087) 227 5645 (087) 770 4042

alice.ohalloran@tusla.ie

Tusla-CFA Meath Family Support Practitioner Team

Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath

(046) 909 8621

Tusla-CFA Meath SW Dedicated Point of Contact

Tusla-CFA Child Protection SW Meath, Enterprise Centre, Navan, Co. Meath

(046) 909 8560

Meath Community Welfare Officers

Navan Intreo Centre, Abbey Buildings, Abbey Mall, Navan, Co. Meath C15 K7PY

(046) 907 2505

jackie.jackson@tusla.ie louise.okeefe@tusla.ie

(046) 909 8500

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navan@welfare.ie


District Court Clerk

Cannon Row, Dillonsland, Navan, Co. Meath

(046) 948 1250

Citizens Information Centre

Floor 2, 1 Cannon Row Navan, Co. Meath

076 107 6150

navan@citinfo.ie

Legal Aid Board/Law Centre

Kennedy Road Navan Co. Meath

(046) 907 2515

lawcentrenavan@legalaidboard.ie

LGBTI+ Youth Work Ireland Meath

St. Mary’s Church Grounds, Trim Gate Street, Navan Co. Meath

(046) 909 3402

info@youthworkirelandmeath.ie

An Garda Síochána Navan

Abbey Road, Abbeyland South, Navan, Co. Meath

(046) 903 6100

An Garda Síochána Trim

Castle Street, Trim, Co. Meath

(046) 948 1540

An Garda Síochána Kells

Fair Green, Townparks, Kells, Co. Meath

(046) 928 0820

An Garda Síochána Ashbourne

Frederick Street, Milltown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

(01) 801 0600

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Appendix An Garda Síochána The recently published policy of An Garda Síochána on Domestic Abuse Intervention identifies their key role as ‘the provision of information, support and protection to victims’. This policy also • Encourages the making of an arrest, where appropriate. • Addresses the actions expected to be taken by An Garda Síochána personnel when dealing with reported incidents of Domestic Abuse, from the time of receipt of the initial report. • Provides guidance regarding obtaining background information for first responders and gathers evidence even in the absence of a criminal complaint. • Provides advice to victims; the undertaking of follow-up actions; PULSE recording; liaison with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency; and intervention to prevent escalation of abuse.16 An Garda Siochana have a pro-arrest policy. The Gardaí have additional powers if there is a court order in place.

Tusla Child and Family Agency Tusla has a primary responsibility to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and as such must always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected. Such Child Protection concerns need to be supported by evidence that indicates the possibility of abuse or neglect. In the case of Domestic Abuse, initial referrals are generally made by the Gardaí (who will be called to attend an incident where there is a child/children present within the household) to the local Duty Social Work team. Where the Garda attending believes there is an immediate risk to the child, they will issue a Section 12, which will in turn enable the duty social worker to access an out-of-hours bed. Specialist Domestic Abuse services also provide initial child protection/welfare referrals.

16

An Garda Síochána (2017) Domestic Abuse Intervention Policy (2017). https://www.garda.ie/en/Crime/Domestic-abuse/Domestic-Abuse-Intervention-Policy-2017.pdf.

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Where it is suspected that a child is at risk, a report must be made under Children First. The term ‘Children First’ was originally used in relation to ‘Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children’ (first published in 1999 and since reviewed and updated on a number of occasions, most recently in 2017). Since the enactment of the Children First Act 2015, it is now a generic term used to encompass the guidance, legislation and implementation of both the guidelines and the Act. Children First relates to the recognition of child abuse and neglect, the reporting of same to Tusla Child and Family Agency, and best practice to which organisations should adhere to keep children safe while availing of their services. Non-statutory obligations for all persons coming into contact with children are set out in the Children First Guidance, and the Children First Act 2015 sets out additional statutory obligations for defined categories of persons and organisations providing relevant services to children. Society has a duty of care towards children, and everyone should be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be being abused or be at risk of abuse.17 A joint working protocol for An Garda Síochána/Tusla Child & Family Agency was introduced into practice to ensure that: • The safety and welfare of the child is promoted • Everything possible is done to assist the criminal investigation • Everything possible is done to assist the Child Protection and welfare assessment • There is an effective flow of relevant information between both agencies • Decisions and actions follow consultation with and between both agencies18

CHILD WELFARE AND PROTECTION19 ‘Woman protection is child protection’ (Liz Kelly). This also applies where the man is the survivor, so ‘survivor protection is child protection’. Every social and health care professional has the responsibility to endeavour to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in the home. Intimate partner violence can increase the risk of all forms of child abuse. Children may witness, be forced to watch, participate in or be victims of the violence. The impact of this on children can result in behavioural, social and emotional problems; cognitive and attitudinal problems; longer term psychological problems; and physical injury or death. Primarily, it is the man who poses this risk and the mother is the non-abusing parent, but this might not always be the case. The risk of severe Domestic Abuse increases with the presence of children, with 75% of women seeking refuge accompanied by children, while the risk of severe abuse for women who have children increases by more than 50% at the point of separation (Watson & Parsons 2005). The survivor may, however, be abusive to the children themselves, possibly using physical abuse to control the children to prevent worse consequences for them from the Children First, Tusla https://www.tusla.ie/services/child-protection-welfare/children-first/. https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/CF_Joint_Protocol.pdf. 19 https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Domestic_Practice_Guide_on_DSG_bassed_violence.pdf. 17 18

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perpetrator or due to the stress of their situation (Bragg 2003). The adult survivor’s ability to adequately parent or protect the children may be affected by their experience of violence. It is essential that initial and ongoing assessment tools are used to measure the level of risk of all forms of abuse to which the children are exposed whilst in the home and who they are at risk from. On a positive note, one study revealed ‘a significant improvement for women and children six months after the end of the violent relationship, as the women reported significant decreases in the rates of stress and depressive symptoms’ (Holden 1998). Fears of having children removed from their care can result in survivors of Domestic Abuse experiencing statutory social work services as inherently threatening. It is also a false premise for professionals to equate separation with safety, as the research shows the violence often continues after the survivor has left the relationship (Stanley 2011). David Mandel & Associates’ (2011) ‘Safe and Together’ model is behaviour-based on the premise that intimate partner violence is not located in the relationship but in the perpetrator’s choices and behaviour. Mandel argues that we have traditionally approached intimate partner violence through the lens of ‘why doesn’t the victim leave?’, which inevitably leads to the non-offending parent being held responsible for keeping the child(ren) safe. Instead, the ‘Safe and Together’ model recommends a paradigm shift based on a greater focus on the role of the perpetrator. Practitioners can achieve this through the consideration of two questions when assessing intimate partner violence situations, particularly where there are child welfare and protection concerns: (i) Ask about the perpetrator’s pattern of Coercive Control and; (ii) Get details of the abuse so a full assessment of danger and impact on the children can be made. Interventions with perpetrators are focused on changing these behaviour patterns. In addition, the professional should seek to ‘partner with the non-offending parent as a default position’ by asking about the ‘full spectrum of the nonoffending parent’s efforts to promote the safety and wellbeing of the child’, validating those strengths and collaboratively safety planning with non-offending parent. For further details on the model, visit www.endingviolence.com.

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Glossary of Terms Co-Parenting Co-parenting is a process where two parents work together to raise a child even though they are divorced or separated and no longer live together.20

Love bombing Love bombing is an attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection that can be used in different ways and for either a positive or negative purpose. It involves being showered with affection, gifts, and promises for the future, in which someone may make you feel you have found love at first sight. At first, the person is loving, caring, and affectionate, but this typically doesn’t last, and displays of interest in other things in your life make them liable to become enraged and label you as selfish, as they are unable to comprehend the value of other people and activities that do not involve them. As their mask slips, you may see someone mean, belittling, and unreasonable underneath.21

Gaslighting Gaslighting is a type of psychological abuse where a person uses lies or tricks to make another person doubt their memory and mental health. Gaslighting can involve anything from an abusive person insisting that the abuse never happened to setting up strange incidents to confuse the victim.22

Coercive Control Coercive Control is a persistent pattern of controlling, coercive and threatening behaviour, including some or all of the forms of Domestic Abuse (emotional, physical, financial, sexual including threats) by a boyfriend, partner, husband or ex. It is designed to trap the victim in a relationship and makes it feel impossible or dangerous to leave.23

https://www.yourdictionary.com/co-parenting. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-love-bombing-2017-7?r=US&IR=T. 22 https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting. 23 https://www.womensaid.ie/help/coercive-control.html. 20 21

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CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICES COMMITEES

CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICES COMMITEES

Louth

Meath

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