Laois Domestic Abuse Service who support women and children experiencing violence in the home, are busier than ever this winter.
Administrator Marna Carroll says it is not evidence that more violence is happening.
“We are finding ourselves very busy, but that is a good thing. It is not indicative of more women experiencing violence, but more people knowing about our service,” she says.
LDAS staff now include three psychotherapists, with one working with men trying to change their violent behaviour. They also offer an experienced court worker.
With Laois County Council, the service have access to a temporary ‘safe house’ in an undisclosed location.
The service is funded by the HSE and the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime, but local fundraising remains crucial says Marna.
“We are busy preparing our Christmas fundraisers. We will be selling handmade wooden yule logs with candles in the local Christmas markets and we have our Christmas Card packs on sale again. They sold very well last year, we made €570, but we are hoping to sell double that this year,” she said.
The cards featuring two designs, are on sale for €4 a pack from the office and from Portlaoise shops including Good News, Laois Shopping Centre, Laois Pharmacy and Doc Morris pharmacy. All proceeds go to the service.
“We are always looking for more volunteers too,” added Marna.
Call LDAS at 057 8671100. The Laois Domestic Abuse Service office is across from Portlaoise Garda Station, and is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 4.30.