Our refuge was officially opened by President Mary McAleese on Monday 15th April, 2002.
Clare Haven Refuge comprises six family ensuite units, a large dinning room, bright airy kitchen, a creche, laundry room, an outdoor playground and a cozy, comfortable women’s sitting room, (see picture). The reception, office and meeting rooms complete the complex. At the back of the refuge we also have a beautifully landscaped garden, with a smaller contemplative garden for women to relax in.
Women and children are able to access the refuge in the knowledge that their safety is our paramount concern. The refuge provides not only a safe environment, but also one of comfort and support, while giving each women the dignity that she is entitled to.
Each woman coming into the refuge receives one-on-one support. A careplan is drawn up with her to look at her practical needs such as housing, social welfare, schools for children, etc. As well as her practical needs she also receives emotional support from our experienced staff. A crèche runs for two hours every morning and from the Autumn an arts and crafts session will run several times a week for children.
Clare Haven staff work tirelessly to support women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, and all support work is carried with the knowledge and permission of the women. At all times, it is the woman who decides what is best for her and for her children. If needed, a staff member will accompany a woman to court, legal aid, social welfare etc.
Clare Haven have also built two second stage houses:
- a purpose built two bedroom bungalow with wheelchair access and
- a three bedroom, two storey detached house.
The second stage houses are offered to women who have accessed the Refuge and are ready to live on their own, with minimal but available support from Clare Haven, but who cannot return to their own homes. The suggested period of staying in the second stage house is two years, when the woman would move on to live independently, again with the help in accessing accommodation through Clare Haven House.