COPE Galway Waterside House works to support women and their children experiencing domestic violence by providing:
COPE Galway Waterside House provides accommodation for women and children when they no longer feel it is safe to be at home. Each family has their own sleeping/living space and may need to access communal toilet and shower facilities. Both practical and emotional support is provided to women during their stay. The refuge is staffed 24 hours a day and women are encouraged to avail of the support of the staff members during their stay. Refuge staff will assist you with all matters such as Housing Applications and accessing rent allowance, Contact with Community Welfare Officers and accessing any financial help available to you, Availing of Legal Options and any medical needs you may have.
For women who decide to get legal protection COPE Galway Waterside House provides support. A support worker will help you fill in the application forms and prepare you for the court experience. You can have someone come to court with you and support you as you wait for your case to be heard. The support worker will not be allowed to come into the court room with you but you may have a solicitor with you for this.
COPE Galway Waterside House Outreach service offers support and information to women who are not able to, or who do not need to, use refuge accommodation. The Outreach worker meets with women who may still be in the relationship and want to discuss what is happening, and also meets with women where the relationship is over and the woman wants to talk about her experiences, or where the woman continues to be abused after the relationship.
The Outreach worker is available to meet with women throughout Galway City & County. If you are coming to the refuge to meet the outreach worker and need someone to mind your children for the appointment length then there is a childcare service available, just ask when you book your appointment.
Children too are affected by domestic violence and in the refuge there are child care workers who work with the children. There is a Child Care Service which runs play sessions for the children, offering them a safe space to have fun and to make sense of what has been happening at home. Children who stay in the refuge can avail of this five days a week, and if there is a need identified by the mother or childcare worker the child may avail of one to one sessions with a childcare worker to explore their experiences of living with the abuse. The Child Care Workers can make a referral to a child counsellor or play therapist if extra support is needed.
Child Care Workers are also available to meet with women who use the Outreach Service to discuss any parenting difficulties or concerns around access a mother may have.
If you are worried that you might need to leave quickly to get out of an abusive situation, or if you find yourself in a situation where your partner might become abusive it could be useful to have a Safety Plan which is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children.