On the 21st April 1997 Aoibhneas Women’s Refuge, located in North Dublin, was officially opened by President Mary Robinson.
Aoibhneas Women and Children’s Refuge was established in 1988 in response to the needs of women and children suffering domestic violence in their home – this need was identified following a research project in 1986 by a local group in Ballymun part-taking in a FÁS Community Development and Leadership Course. In 1987 this same group applied to Dublin Corporation for a 3 bedroom flat as an overnight crisis centre to respond to the needs of women and children fleeing Domestic Violence. In January 1988, the Ballymun Women’s Refuge Group were allocated a flat on the Sillogue Road, Ballymun – by June 1988 they employed workers through the Social Employment Scheme who were given 6 weeks training in basic counselling skills. On the 21st August 1988, the service had the first woman stay overnight. The Refuge provided crisis counselling, support, legal information, emergency overnight accommodation and referral to other agencies.
On the 23rd January 1991, Aoibhneas was granted ‘Approved Status’ under the Department of the Environment Voluntary Housing Scheme. In September 1993, plans for a new purpose built Refuge, which would accommodate 10 families at a time, were submitted to Dublin Corporation. In 1994, Dublin Corporation made notification of a decision to grant planning permission to Aoibhneas for a purpose built 10 unit facility for families fleeing their home through domestic violence.
What started out as a refuge 29 years ago has grown expediently to best meet women and children through each stage of the cycle of domestic abuse. This includes access to not just a choice of service supports but a wraparound delivery that takes a family from crisis to recovery. Today, Aoibhneas has grown from strength to strength. Our 10-unit refuge underwent a refurbishment in 2014 and remains in operation in Dublin 17. In 2017 alone, Aoibhneas supported 404 families directly through the various elements of our service; 134 women and 239 children were accommodated in refuge; 235 women and 407 children were supported in the community through the outreach support service; 131 women were accompanied to court and staff supported a total of 2,753 calls to the 24/7 Helpline service.
Aoibhneas is a strong believer that domestic abuse is far greater than that of a familial issue – it requires advocacy at high levels within society to bring about long lasting societal and legislative change. Aoibhneas is committed to creating more awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and is consistently working to meet the ever growing need for domestic abuse support and recovery.
We at Aoibhneas Women and Children's Domestic Violence service aim to empower each person to live in freedom and safety from domestic abuse through a healing process that nurtures and enables positive growth and societal change.
- ‘One Family One Team’
- Unity and Partnership
- Co-operational service excellence
- Value for money
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Pursue Growth and Learning
- Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication