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BY TIFFANY GREENWALDT-SIMON

A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – ‘under the shadow’ of Covid-19.

Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counseling support sessions in its 2021 annual report released last week.

The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021 and a total of 266 people used its services. It has also seen a significant increase in returning service users.

The helpline also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland and Women’s Aid.

Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the harsh reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR registered the most customers in our 24-year history and provided the most support services.

“Our staff have noted an increase in the level of disturbing and heartbreaking experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live on with our service users long after Covid-19 has faded from memory.

“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes across Galway.

“As we move forward into 2022, we will continue to provide our much needed services to the women and men of Galway, with an extensive advice and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives, including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming month.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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