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Clare Haven launch helpline for LGBTI+ women

TO MARK International Women’s Day on March 8, Clare Haven Services has launched a confidential helpline for LGBTI+ women.

“Although our 24-hour helpline is there for all women whatever their sexuality or family status, we are aware that for some people, services such as ours may conjure up only some of the many different ways in which Domestics Abuse can be experienced,” a spokesperson said. “In order to address that assumption and also recognise  that LGBTI+ women might be cautious about using a mainstream number for that initial, tentative reaching out, we now have available a dedicated number for those women, should they choose to use it.”

The Istanbul Convention which is ratified and in force in Ireland prohibits discrimination on many grounds, including gender identity and sexual orientation.

Research in other jurisdictions show that  LGBTI+ women are subjected to domestic abuse and may be revictimised if they attempt to report it or seek support. “By making this dedicated number available, our aim is to be a first port of call for such women, if they so wish, to provide them with assistance and support whilst giving pertinent and relevant information to avoid revictimization,” the spokesperson added.

The development of the initiative was funded by Clare County Council as part of the Department of Rural and Community Development’s involvement in the LGBTI+ Strategy and was supported by the charity GOSHH.

The dedicated confidential helpline is available Wednesday mornings 9.30am to 12.30pm on 087-2143769 for contact by call, WhatsApp or text messaging.

Outside of those times Clare Haven’s 24 Helpline is contactable on 065-6822435.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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