Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service hope to have their new, purpose-built refuge up and running next month.
The refuge will include four two-bedroom apartments, a three-bedroom house and office space to serve Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and west Cavan. Fiona Doherty, DWDVS manager, said the campaign for the refuge began nearly 24 years ago.
Fiona said the refuge could not have been built without the assistance of Donegal County Council, and said DWDVS services provide an interagency approach, involving the Health Service Executive, council and other offices.
The refuge will be named Gloria House, in memory of local woman Gloria McCole. It was Gloria’s tragic death in 1990, the result of domestic violence, that led to the establishment of DWDVS in June of 1991.
Gloria McCole’s family is donating a memorial stone for Gloria House as well as a counselling room, which will bear a plaque in Gloria’s memory. Fiona said Gloria’s family had said the awareness of the number of women the service has helped over the years had been a comfort to them in their grief.
In 2012, DWDVS served received 2,259 helpline calls, accommodated 40 families and saw more than 689 women at outreach centres across the county.