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Women’sAid #TooIntoYou Campaign Empowers Young People To Recognise And Address Abusive Behaviours In Intimate Relationships

Women’s Aid, the largest domestic violence organization in Ireland has launched their #TooIntoYou campaign as part of their ongoing efforts to address the impact of domestic violence and abuse. The campaign which started 10 years ago was set up to understand how young women were experiencing abuse due to a rise in the rate at which young women sought Women’s Aid helpline and frontline services. The campaign is focused on raising awareness about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, educating young people, particularly young women, about the signs of abuse and the means of support that are available to them.

At a launch today, Mary Hayes, the project lead for women’s aid #TooIntoYou campaign spoke about results from the studies on intimate relationship abuse carried out by women’s aid which revealed that 1 in 5 young women aged 18-25 have been abused by current male partner or ex, 9 in 10 women experience emotional abuse and 1 in 3 never told anyone about the abuse they were subjected to. ‘Emotional abuse can have a really detrimental impact on a young person life especially if it’s their first relationship and they have nothing to compare it to’ she said as she proceeded to speak on the mental health impact of intimate relationships abuse she mentioned that low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, withdrawal from family, friends or social events, suicidal thoughts and suicide are commonly experienced by women who suffer abuse.

Speaking about the things the government can improve to help the people who are affected Mary revealed “The current curriculum on the relationship and sex education in secondary schools is currently being reviewed so we put in a submission to say that the new curriculum has to include information on intimate relationship abuse, the types of abuse and supports that are there, red flags, and for them to learn about things like coercive control”. She continued by stating that many charity organisations like Women’s Aid are limited in resources and the government needs to make a commitment to more funding that would improve their services.

Mary spoke on the support system put in place by women’s aid to help combat intimate relationship abuse some of which includes educative processes to help young women recognise abuse, relationship quiz, counselling, educating parents, a legal drop-in clinic, guidance through legal protection, connecting women with safe refugee centres around the country and continually training staffs and volunteers. She also mentioned working with other organisations like the ‘Dublin rape crisis centre’, ‘Belong To’ and ‘The Shona Project’ to help women across the country and concluded by stating that Women’s Aid will continue to work on initiatives that reflects the organisations vision of an equal Ireland with zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women.

If you or anyone you know is affected by intimate relationship abuse support is available at Women’s Aid, The helpline:1800341900, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while the instant message support service: www.toointoyou.ie is open morning and evenings, 7 days a week.

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