• 24 Hr helpline providing support and a listening non judgement ear 01 4630000
  • Short term refuge accommodation for women and children suffering domestic abuse
  • Refuge which is staffed 24 Hrs a day / 365 days a year
  • Daycaller service providing one to one support sessions by appointment
  • Therapeutic playroom on site with qualified childcare workers to support resident children
  • Outreach service providing support, practical help and court accompaniment for women who cannot or do not want to come to refuge with services in South West Dublin, Dublin 12 and West Wicklow.
  • Information talks and workshops with groups, schools, etc. around the issues of Domestic Violence

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freedom from fear
supporting women and children affected by domestic abuse


“To all the staff at the centre, thank you. I will never forget what everyone has done for me. You are all gems that make our lives brighter.”
“Thank you so much, you have all been so wonderful to me and my children.So kind and caring and always there. I couldn’t have done this without you.”
“We are so grateful for all your help, your support and for helping us through this very dark time in our lives. The work you all do is amazing.”
“Thank you for being there for us when we needed it so much”.


In Ireland in 2018, there were 3,256 requests for accommodation to women’s refuges unmet and 56,627 calls answered to Helplines.


Saoirse has been very busy since the beginning of lockdown. The escalation in the numbers of women and children who have been supported over the past number of months in the refuges, on the 24 hour helpline 01 4630000 and through our prevention and outreach services, sadly reflects the escalation of Domestic Abuse we have been hearing about, both nationally and internationally.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control, which is now a crime on our statute books, is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used by the perpetrator, to harm, punish, and or frighten their victim. The victims are mainly women and children though some men can also be victims of these crimes.

This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour. Very often the abuser will gradually create a dependency, which becomes a total dependency on them.

Unfortunately the circumstances, that we find ourselves in as a consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly during the lockdown period, is the perfect storm for those who find themselves in abusive relationships.

Coercive control creates invisible chains and a sense of fear that pervades all elements of a person’s life. It works to limit their human rights by depriving them of their liberty and reducing their ability for action.

How do you know if this is happening to you?

Some common examples of coercive behaviour are:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • Monitoring your time
  • Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
  • Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or intimidating you

We want to thank the many people who have helped to support Saoirse during these unprecedented times by donating via our website or on our Facebook Page. We continue to need support as the state funding we receive does not cover all our outgoings. During August this year we dealt with 796 support calls on our helpline. As I write all our intake refuge spaces are full.

Ellen O’Malley Dunlop
Acting CEO Saoirse


Identify an abusive relationship with our educational workshops

healthy relationships posterRelationship abuse is not confined to adult relationships and marriage. It can be a reality for a lot of young people dating, taking as symptoms subtle nasty comments, aggressive tones, accusing questions and controlling behaviour. Take a couple of minutes to ask yourself these questions, you might be interested in our educational workshops.


– Do you feel that your boyfriend / girlfriend is being pushy?
– Have you witnessed severe mood swings or an unpredictable behaviour?
– Is he / she hypersensitive and explodes with anger regularly?
– Does he / she treat you or make you feel that you are inferior?
– Do you stop seeing your friends because you are afraid of his reaction?


These are some warning signs of an abusive relationship which generally only escalate as the relationship moves on. For this reason, stopping teasing and name calling during the preteen and teen years is vital. Our educational workshops aimed at 15-18 years-old youngsters promote healthy relationships to prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood.

If you wish to enquire about this programme or the possibility of it running in your school, youth group or project, please contact us at 01-4630400 or email us at