Kathleen Maher speaks with Tipp FM Presenter Jim Finn on Ascend Domestic Abuse Services during lockdown, and how we in the community can respond.
Ascend provide support and information to women who have or are experiencing domestic abuse in their intimate relationships. We aim to put the safety of women and children at the centre of our work. We aim to empower women in their lives, and to advocate on their behalf where appropriate.
- This service offers support, information, listening and an understanding of domestic abuse issues. We can meet you at a place and time of your convenience throughout North Tipperary.
- We offer a confidential listening and information telephone service where you have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about domestic abuse in your life.
- We will provide you with, emotional support; someone will listen to you, believe you, and help you get clarity on your situation. We are here to help a woman identify her options.
- A safety plan will be created in consultation with you. This can be done in person or initial contact can be made over the phone
- If we have concerns about your safety or that of your children we will make a referral to specialised services within Tusla
- We can accompany you and participate in Child protection conferences and other relevant meetings as requested.
- We make referrals to programmes such as TLC Kidz; to Family Support Services, external Counselling services, Pieta House and any other relevant agencies according to your needs. We provide support with regard to the following agencies: Referral to a refuge, or alternative temporary housing through Social Work, Social Welfare, Housing and homeless services, Child Protection, Gardaí, Legal Aid, St. Vincent de Paul and many others
Court accompaniment service
- support you in court on matters relating to Domestic violence, Maintenance, Child access, Separation and divorce
- give you a clear understanding of the procedures of court
- accompany you to appointments with solicitors at your request
- explain the different court orders to you
- will explain what is required of you by the Courts when Orders are granted
- provide on-going service to you throughout your court history and follow-up
We do not provide legal advice or counselling services
- We run a Personal Development group for women to support their recovery and rebuild their self-esteem
- We also deliver a Healthy Relationships programme for Transition Year students, girls and boys to promote self-esteem, help them identify abusive behaviour and signpost services. The sessions are interactive and engaging for the young people, promoting discussion and reflective learning.
- We are part of the inter-agency group-work programme TLC Kidz hosted by Barnardos for children and mothers who have been exposed to domestic abuse.
- We are part of the North Tipperary Local Area Network, Safe Ireland, and the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women.