Jump to main content


Connacht Support COPE Campaign

Connacht Support COPE Campaign

COPE Galway Waterside House, the Refuge and Outreach service for women and children experiencing domestic violence, recently launched its 2009 campaign to highlight the global 16 Days awareness campaign in opposition to violence against women.

The ’16 Days’ runs from November 25 to December 10 every year. This campaign comes at a time when in the first six months of this year, COPE Galway’s Waterside House service has seen the number of women seeking refuge accommodation grow by 44% with similar increases being reported by many other services across the country.

This year Waterside House is running a poster campaign and, in a departure from previous years, the campaign is being fronted by men.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Wendy Heuston, the manager of Waterside House, said: “The reason for having men front the campaign is that violence against women is very much a man’s issue as well as a woman’s issue.

“Activism at a level that will bring about real change in attitudes can not be achieved by women alone – men are part of the problem and must also be part of the solution.

“It is also important for men to be represented in a positive way when it comes to the issue of violence against women.

“Often men are mentioned almost exclusively as perpetrators of the violence but in fact they can have a key role as allies and supporters of women highlighting and addressing the issue.”

The awareness campaign poster was launched by the Connacht squad and carries the tagline, ‘REAL MEN SAY THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.’

The reference to ‘real men’ is to draw attention to the fact that in general sportsmen provide very positive role models for many men and as such they are ideally placed to deliver powerful messages about men’s behaviour.

Wendy added: “All men can support this campaign by not remaining silent, by challenging sexist behaviour and attitudes in other men – both in the personal and public spheres – and by not condoning any behaviour which hurts, disrespects or degrades women in any way.

The need to highlight domestic violence is as vital as ever. From January to June 2009, 78 women and 134 children were accommodated in Waterside and a further 59 women used the Outreach service.

In the same period the service was unable to accommodate 110 women and 197 children who were offered referral elsewhere.

“While the service continues to be stretched to capacity, it is not possible to definitively say what has led to this increase, but increased public awareness, and possibly the end of the Celtic Tiger are contributory factors.

“It is important however, that the recession is not used as an excuse to justify domestic violence. Today we are saying, ‘THERE ARE NO EXCUSES.’”

For further information on the work of COPE Galway Waterside House, please telephone: 091 565985 or email watersidehouse@copegalway.ie.