Supporting migrants experiencing domestic violence in the context of austerity.
OSS Cork supports people who experience domestic violence providing information and support to them on a broad range of associated issues. It was established in July 2000 and its client base is drawn from all sectors of the community. Over the last number of years demand for its services has increased dramatically as has the cultural diversity of those seeking its support. Client numbers have increased by more than 20% from 2008 to 2012 and client contacts, in terms of helplines and one-to-one support sessions, has increased by 150% in the same period.
All those experiencing domestic violence are in vulnerable positions and best practice indicates that support should facilitate alleviating these vulnerabilities in a timely manner, cognizant of the personís sensibilities. However, austerity measures introduced since 2008 are accentuating these vulnerabilities. Bureaucratic and restricted access to services such as welfare support, legal aid, and housing, are increasingly experienced. Accessing such services intersect with gendered identities, ethnicity and immigrant status, highlighting specific challenges for the migrant community. Sometimes this leads to heightened levels of stress which, in turn, negatively impact on peopleís health and wellbeing.
This poster presentation, utilizing typologies drawn from multiple experiences, details some of these consequences as they typically intersect with peopleís realities. It, thus, offers a view of the bureaucratic challenges that people face as they attempt to address violence in their personal lives.