Domestic violence services for women in Inishowen must remain based within the peninsula.
That’s the view of one service user who spoke to the Journal this week to highlight the “vital” need for the peninsula’s only domestic violence service, Lifeline Inishowen.
The service, which offers support to women and children right across the peninsula, is still completely volunteer-run and funded by donations from the community.
The months after Christmas are traditionally the busiest for the service, which is once again facing the new year ahead without any Government funding.
Despite this, those behind Lifeline Inishowen want to stress how important it is for women to access the help they need, something which is currently available here in Inishowen.
Mary Doherty, co-ordinator and manager of the service pointed out how Lifeline Inishowen walks alongside those women and their children as she takes the “biggest step of her life.”
The service, which is based in Carndonagh, offers a helpline, a drop-in service, counselling for women and children, a listening ear, advocacy and training programmes, among others.
One woman who received support and training there told the ‘Journal’ how she saw, at first hand, how important it is to keep services such as these within the peninsula.
She said: ““It’s vitally important that this service is close to home for the women who need to use it. It’s important it’s here all the time. If it isn’t there, women in Inishowen would have to travel to further away, which isn’t so easy for everyone.
“This is a rural area, transport isn’t brilliant and other women might not find it easy to get away.”
She also encouraged local people to support the service.
She said: “I would really encourage local people to support the service. It needs to be acknowledged and this stigma about domestic violence needs to go. We need to talk about it a lot more and acknowledge that it is happening.”
The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 1.30pm with the helpline number 0749373232.
Lifeline Inishowen is based in Carn and you can also visit the website on www.ldvs.org
You can also support the Wee Curiosity Shoppe, located beside Supervalu in Carndonagh. All proceeds from the shop, which is run and supported by local people, go to the running of the service.