A Free and Confidential Support Service for Women Experiencing Abuse in their Relationship.
DVAS offers a secure, caring setting where you are safe to tell your story. This may be the first time you have been able to speak openly in a non-judgmental atmosphere. You have the freedom to explore options and you will be provided with information on the services available to you so you can make informed decisions about your future. All of our services are confidential and free.
- ONE TO ONE MEETINGS
- COURT ACCOMPANIMENT
The DVAS helpline offers confidential information and support to women who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic violence. Family, friends and services that are supporting women experiencing domestic violence are also welcome to call the helpline for support and information about the issue. If you are not sure that what you are experiencing is domestic violence, you can ring for support and information. Experienced workers are available on the helpline and if it is safe for you, we can phone you back. The DVAS helpline is open from 10.00 – 5.00, Monday to Friday at 071-9141515.
ONE TO ONE MEETINGS
DVAS provide a one to one support service where a woman can meet a trained and experienced worker in a safe and confidential setting. Support meetings are by appointment and a worker will try to agree a time that suits you. At the meeting you can talk about your situation, get emotional support, get information and discuss options. The support worker will always be focussed on your safety and well being. If you are not sure what you want to do, the worker will not put pressure on you to make a decision. You can take as much time as you need and can continue to meet with the worker until you no longer feel you need the support. DVAS have two support centres, one in Sligo and one in Carrick on Shannon. When you make an appointment, you will be given directions to the support centre in you area.
If you have no access to transport, or for another reason you cannot use our Sligo or Carrick on Shannon offices, a support worker will meet with you at a safe place that you choose. For the safety and confidentiality of you and the support worker, outreach appointments do not take place in your own home.
DVAS offers court accompaniment to women who are seeking access to safety or other rights through the courts. so that you are not as vulnerable to intimidation and can discuss and clarify what is happening. As anyone who has ever been to court knows, it can be a stressful and bewildering experience and if you have to be there because of abuse and violence in your relationship, it can be very frightening. Court procedures and legal language can be hard to understand and often the abuser will try to intimidate you while you wait for the hearing. Our court accompaniment worker can be with you to make the experience less stressful for you.
Women sometimes find it difficult to be believed and taken seriously by people or agencies that are in a position to help them. This can make it harder and sometimes prevent a woman from accessing her rights, including protection from violence, housing and financial support. If you experience this, a DVAS support worker can advocate for you. Advocacy is when a worker actively works with you to help you access your rights and entitlements more easily. Our workers will engage with others on your behalf to try to get them to understand the seriousness of your situation and ask them for the response you want.
- No-one has the right to abuse you.
- You have the right to live in safety and free from fear.
- You are not to blame for some-one else’s abusive and violent behaviour.