Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness and manager of Amber Women's Refuge, Lisa Morris
Local landmarks including Kilkenny Garda Station and County Hall turned purple last night (Thursday) to raise awareness of domestic violence for Go Purple Day.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness was joined by Lisa Morris, manager of Amber Women’s Refuge, who has been promoting the campaign and urging people to take part, at County Hall yesterday evening to mark the event.
Speaking to The Kilkenny People, Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness said, “I want to commend Lisa and all the team at Amber Womens Refuge, not only for taking on this great awareness raising initiative, but also for the fantastic work they do every day.”
“We have seen a very worrying surge in domestic violence since the start of this pandemic with lockdown exposing just how bad this issue is.
“We are blessed to have such great people, such as the staff in in Amber Women’s Refuge and our own local gardai, that really go the extra mile to help those suffering such abuse.
“It’s important that those suffering in silence know that there is help and support available and that whatever abuse they are enduring at home can be stopped.
“Raising awareness like this is an opportunity to send that positive message to victims of domestic violence but it also shows that we are united as a community in our support for victims but also in condemning the horrible abuse they endure behind closed doors.
“I want to say a special thank you to Lisa Morris for taking on this initiative and to Tim Butler and Benny Nolan for arranging the purple lighting. It’s not easy to change the lighting on our public buildings with the current system but that will be upgraded this year and we will be able to light up all of our buildings easily for this campaign and others going forward," he said.
Local gardaí are also backing the initiative and Kilkenny Garda Station was also lit in purple.
Superintendent Derek Hughes told the Kilkenny People that An Garda Síochána in Kilkenny were committed to supporting Go Purple Day for Domestic Violence Services. “Kilkenny Gardaí are privileged to enjoy very close working relationships with statutory and non-statutory agencies in supporting victims of domestic violence. We are here to help anyone who finds themselves in an abusive relationship – no one should suffer in their own home”.
The Superintendent urged any victim of domestic abuse to contact Kilkenny Gardaí on 056 7775000.
Covid-19 has seen a rise in domestic abuse with services seeing an increase in demand for services.
“For over a year now, we have all been working under enormous pressure to respond to those fleeing domestic abuse,” said Lisa Morris, manager of Amber Women’s Refuge.
“In Ireland, and across the globe, incidences of domestic and sexual violence have risen significantly since the start of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns. We are very clear that Covid-19 does not cause domestic and sexual violence, it has exposed it.
“But, this epidemic has also exposed an outpouring of communal empathy for those living with control and abuse in their homes that we have perhaps not seen before,” she continued.
“We hope that this Go Purple Day will give people another easy, fun way to continue to support our work in keeping women and children safe here in Kilkenny.”
Amber is one of the 39 frontline service members of Safe Ireland across the country. To donate, go to the donate now button at www.amberwomensrefuge.ie. All funds raised in Kilkenny will go to the local service.
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