Margaret Martin Presentation

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Main theme and Women's Stories - Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline and Support Services Statistics 2008 presented by Margaret Martin, Director, at the launch of the report in Dublin, Wednesday 16th September 2009.

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Margaret Martin Presentation

  1. 1. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Women’s Aid Annual Statistics 2008 Margaret Martin Director Women’s Aid
  2. 2. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: • The recession traps women in abusive relationships and the result of this is that the abuse can escalate both in frequency and in intensity • Pregnant women continue to be abused both during pregnancy and in the aftermath of giving birth to their baby • Children continue to be abused both directly themselves, and by witnessing or overhearing the abuse their mothers experience
  3. 3. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: • In the ‘Making the Links’ study (1995), the majority of women identified material barriers as amongst the main reasons why they could not leave their violent husbands: – 88% of women said that one of the main reasons that they did not leave was that they had nowhere to go – 77% of women said they did not leave because they were financially dependent on their abuser. • Women are 7 times more likely to experience severe abuse where their partner controls decisions about money. (National Crime Council Research 2005) • 1,900 incidents of financial abuse were disclosed to the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline in 2008.
  4. 4. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Caroline “It was okay at first and seemed a good system but then he started calculating the amount that he believed should be spent on food, clothing and other items. Anthony became more and more critical of any additional spending and began calling me a ‘waster’ and a ‘spendthrift’ even when I spent money on small extra things for the children – just a small toy or a book would make him so angry.” “He began to itemise the shopping bills and accused me of running up heating bills and using too much hot water. Sometimes I would not put on any heat until he came home and me and the kids just put up with the cold….. The worst of it is just how degraded and humiliated I feel by having to ask Anthony for money for “extras” such as tampons when I have my period”
  5. 5. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Caroline “Literally every cent I spend must be accounted for and I just feel too embarrassed to allow friends or family to pay for me so I put them off by saying I am too busy to meet up. Gradually they have stopped calling and asking and I suppose I can’t blame them….and I can only take the children out or go out myself within walking distance of the house as we only have one car, that Anthony takes for work, and I have no money for bus fare.”
  6. 6. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Caroline “When I rang the Women’s Aid Freephone Helpline and spoke to a worker about my feelings and what is going on I actually surprised myself, I really cannot quite believe how trapped I have become in the relationship. Having had my own independent means and a wide circle of friends, colleagues and family just a few years ago my world has shrunk to the four walls of the house with my two beautiful children my only company.” “To the outside world our family probably looks rosy and fine but, to be honest, it feels like my entire self has been eroded away and that I cannot get out or away.”
  7. 7. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Valerie “I rang and spoke about what was going on. Being able to just lay it all out with someone confidentially helped me to see that there was simply no excuse for John’s behaviour and that a lot of his abusive and controlling treatment of me had actually begun before he even lost his job.” “I got information on protective orders and made an application for a Barring Order in my local District Court. The Judge granted me one for a year and John has been gone for 6 months now. ... He has blamed me for everything and tries to tell everyone that I ruined his life but I know that he is responsible for himself and it was never right for him to make himself feel better by hurting me.”
  8. 8. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: • The Rotunda Hospital conducted research which found that 1 in 8 women surveyed were abused during their current pregnancy. • International research found that 25% of women who experience domestic violence are physically assaulted for the first time during pregnancy. • A UK review of maternal deaths showed that 70 of 295 women who died during pregnancy or in the first 6 weeks after giving birth had a history of domestic violence. 19 of these women had been murdered.
  9. 9. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Catherine “When I was pregnant he became more aggressive and violent. I was sick for the first three months and was tired all the time…. One morning I was in the bathroom being sick and he came in and started yelling, he told me this pregnancy had made me ignore him and that he was sick of me being sick all the time, he picked up the towel and started hitting me with it.” “I felt so confused, Mike wanted this baby so badly and everyone was telling me about how happy he was that we were pregnant. He didn’t seem happy to me and I was very unhappy, how could I tell anyone, they all thought the world of Mike, how could I tell them this person you think is great does these things to me, I had no words for it.”
  10. 10. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: During 2008 there were almost 2,000 disclosures of child abuse to our Freephone National Helpline. These included threatened and actual physical abuse such as: – being pushed downstairs, – being punched or beaten repeatedly, – attempted stabbings, – children being forced to eat off the floor, – being threatened that their pets will be killed or that they will be placed in foster care.
  11. 11. Women’s Aid, 47 Old Cabra Road, Dublin 7. T: 01-8684721, F: 01-8684722, E: Women’s Aid Services

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