MORE than 200 women and their children could not be accommodated by Clare’s women’s refuge so far this year, as cuts to the budget and an increase in the number seeking refuge from domestic abuse increases.

Manager of Clare Haven Denise Dunne told The Clare People that since the cut to the statutory budget began in 2009, Clare Haven has managed to retain its essential services to the detriment of educational programmes.

However when the fifth consecutive cut to the budget comes next year, vital services will more than likely be affected, she warned.

As many as 208 women and 303 children fleeing from domestic abuse were unable to find accommodation at the centre this year, as all six units were full to capacity.

Ms Dunne explained that Clare Haven staff gave these families the numbers of other refuges around the country or helped them to locate one, but finding a place was often difficult as most women’s refuges are working to full capacity.

The staff work hard to ensure that no woman is left on the street however, even though they are not able to directly accommodate them.

As many as 73 women and their families, which included 109 children, have stayed in Clare Haven’s Refuge Centre this year.

While the service has helped as many as 186 in total through its support visits, outreach programme and refuge centre.

It pains the staff however to have to turn away more than 200 families from the shelter, as the organisation struggles to keep vital services open for those women it helps.

For more see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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