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RTÉ has issued a warning ahead of tonight’s episode of Fair City. The episode is set to be extremely distressing for viewers as one of the show’s storylines takes a dark turn.

Will and Cristiano’s domestic abuse storyline escalates tonight when Will attacks his partner again.

Fans of the show have been warned of graphic content in Wednesday’s episode.

In tonight’s episode, Will drags Cristiano across their apartment floor after he has a meltdown. He flees the scene, leaving Cristiano for dead. 

He then decides to call an ambulance but is hit by a car before making the call.

Damien and Mairead grow concerned about Cristiano’s absence and rush to the apartment, finding him unconscious inside.

Fair City airs on RTÉ 1 at 8pm.

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Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist has bravely revealed she was in an abusive relationship. The actress opened up about the abuse she suffered in an emotional video.

She uploaded a fourteen minute IGTV video called ‘Life Isn’t Always What It Seems’.

The actress shared, “I am a survivor of domestic violence or IPV (intimate partner violence), which is something I never thought I would say let alone be broadcasting into the ether.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the harrowing video, she details the violence she was subjected to throughout her relationship with an unnamed partner.

“The stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard I felt the wind go out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved against the wall so hard the drywall broke, choked.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Melissa revealed that her partner threw his iPhone at her face resulting in permanent damage to her eye and a broken nose.

She was married to her Glee co-star Blake Jenner during this time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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After that alarming attack, the actress knew she had to escape.

“Something inside of me broke, this was too far.”

The Glee star added, “Leaving was not a walk in the park. It is not an event, it’s a process. I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long, and yes, mournful feeling of leaving something familiar.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Luckily, the people I let in, the more I was bolstered, I never lost the sense of clarity that kept telling me, ‘You do not deserve this.’”

The actress is now married to her Supergirl co-star Chris Wood.

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Malin Andersson has opened up about being a victim of domestic violence in a powerful open letter. The reality star shared a photo of her bruised face to help women in similar situations.

She wrote, “The external isn’t as bad as the internal. Damage not to my physical body but my mental health also. PTSD. Constant thoughts of ‘am I crazy, did any of this happen?’ Questioning myself.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Malin explained that she kept quiet for such a long time because she felt trapped. She struggled to tell anyone about her situation,  “I lost myself completely. I wasn’t Malin, I was someone else. I was trapped. I thought I was ok. I thought that it was my fault. I kept going back because I thought I was in love. I thought this was all love. It’s not.”

She revealed the moment she knew she had to escape her abuser, “I woke up one day and decided to break the cycle. I knew enough was enough. I didn’t know if I would ever see this day, the constant head f***, but I promise you the day I set free came to me, it will come to you.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“They will make you out to be crazy. You’re not. Please seek help before it’s too late. END THE CYCLE,” Malin pleaded.

“@womens_aid @refugecharity Call 08082000247 .. or 999 – there are people here to help. You’re not alone,” she stressed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To say that the former Love Island star is brave for sharing her story just isn’t enough. The courage and strength it takes to walk away from an abusive relationship is unbelievable, but Malin is right, women must seek help before it is too late.

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Vodafone Ireland Foundation has announced the launch of Bright Sky Ireland, a free app that connects victims of domestic violence and abuse to support services across Ireland.

This app is the latest addition to Vodafone Foundation’s domestic violence project, which uses connectivity to help support those affected by domestic abuse here and across Europe.

Bright Sky Ireland is created with the UK-based domestic abuse charity Hestia, along with Women’s Aid Ireland and An Garda Síochána.

So how does it work?

Users can locate their nearest support center by searching their area, eircode or current location. 

They will also have to fill out a short questionnaire that will help them assess the safety of a relationship while also providing information about different forms of abuse such as sexual violence, stalking, and harassment.

The app also highlights the types of supports available, steps to consider if leaving an abusive relationship and how to help a friend affected by domestic abuse.

As well as all of that, the app contains a ground-breaking feature designed to log incidents of domestic abuse without any content being saved on the device itself.

It works by allowing users to send information about incidents in a secure digital journal, using a text, audio, video or photo function.

Evidence collated through this function will enable Gardaí to intervene and can help secure prosecutions.

According to Vodafone Foundation, statistics regarding domestic abuse are terrifying – 31% of Irish workers have experienced some form of domestic abuse while  63% experienced psychological abuse and control.

Also, 47% experienced physical violence, 23% experienced sexual violence or abuse and 19% experienced stalking. 

Sarah Benson, Executive Director of Women’s Aid said, ''A very important feature of the app is the myth-busting information as well as quiz to help people recognise the signs of abuse.''

She continued, ''However, our biggest hope is that the ability to log incidents of abuse whether it’s photos, text notes or recordings, will help women experiencing abuse gather the pattern of evidence they need to avail of legal protection and secure convictions of the new crime of coercive control.”

This is fantastic news and we hope women in need will avail of this service. 

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Danish band Lukas Graham have landed in hot water after covering the late rapper XXXTenacion's song SAD!, claiming to have no knowledge of his violent past.

The track was covered as a stripped-down version for the Spotify Singles series, and now the lead singer Lukas Forchammer has stated that the song will be removed from streaming services.

He posted a now-deleted statement to Instagram, writing; “Our cover of ‘SAD!’ will be taken down ASAP. I had no knowledge of his violent history. I’m very sorry for the pain I’ve caused. Again, I’m very sorry.”

The band allegedly had no clue about the deceased rap artist's controversial history with the law.

At the time of his death back in 2016, he was facing trial for a number of charges including false imprisonment and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.

The band's apology referenced XXX's domestic abuse charges from October 2016, after he was shot and killed in June of that year.

The 20-year-old's multi-platinum-selling posthumous album ? has been boosted and featured by a number of famous hip-hop and rap artists.

The rapper confessed to “f*cking up” his ex-girlfriend, in addition to a number of other violent crimes in a secret video which was made public after his death.

Real name Jahseh Onfroy said in an interview with the podcast No Jumper that he nearly killed his gay prison inmate who was staring at him. He laughed throughout the interview, showing no remorse.

"I was going crazy,” he told the interviewer. “I smear his blood on my face, on my hands. I got it, like, in my nails. I got it all over me. I was going f*cking crazy.”

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From January 1, 2019, the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act 2018 will commence.

The new act includes important measures such as the extension for eligibility for safety orders to young women who experience abuse in dating relationships; recognition of an intimate relationship as an aggravating factor in domestic violence cases and the crime of coercive control.

According to Women's Aid, the national domestic violence frontline support organisation, ‘Out-of-Hours’ Special Sittings will be allowed by the District Courts to provide for orders in emergency situations and the prohibition of electronic communication with victims.

The new provisions also include important steps to make it easier for those affected by domestic abuse to avail of the court system and link in with specialist support services.

 

Women’s Aid will monitor the impact of the provision to treat the intimate relationship between the abuser and his victim as an aggravating factor through its ongoing Sentencing Watch project with a report due in September 2019.

According to Women’s Aid research, one in five women in Ireland has experienced emotional, sexual, physical and financial abuse from a current or former intimate partner in her lifetime.

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid, explained how important this milestone is for domestic abuse survivors in Ireland: “From 1st January 2019, women must feel change quickly. It must be positive, it must be practical and it must make them and their children safer from abuse.

“What is promised on paper must be fully resourced to be effective in protecting those affected by domestic violence. We are concerned that an already over-stretched system will see an increase in demand when the new provisions commence.  

The act will also extend the eligibility for access to Safety and Protection Orders to those in intimate relationships who have never lived with their boyfriends.

“This change will make a significant difference to the safety of younger women," Martin continued. "We also welcome the move to prevent abusers to communicate electronically with their victims, a step in the right direction to address the digital abuse and online harassment of women by partners and exes.”

Women’s Aid welcomes the inclusion of the relationship between defendant and victim as an aggravating circumstance in relevant offences.

“This change must bring about better sanctioning for domestic violence perpetrators and contribute to an increased sense of justice for women," explained Martin.

"Our figures showing that intimate partners are sentenced, on average, to three years less prison time compared to other men convicted of killing women, suggesting that an intimate relationship is seen as a mitigating rather than an aggravating factor. The Women’s Aid Sentencing Watch will monitor whether the change is seen in the decision making of the Courts.”

“Our Impact Report for 2017 highlighted the level of domestic violence in Irish society and the impact of poorly resourced, inappropriate and inconsistent responses from the State have on women and children struggling against the odds.

“Women experiencing domestic violence deserve a system that supports and protects them as they move themselves and their children to safety.”

According to Women’s Aid research, one in five women in Ireland has experienced emotional, sexual, physical and financial abuse from a current or former intimate partner in her lifetime.

The charity organisation also provides a free, national, domestic violence 24hr helpline at 1-800-341-900 with specialised trained staff & volunteers.

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Contrary to belief, domestic and dating abuse is common – and we all know someone who has experienced an abusive relationship in some form.

Whether or not you've been directly impacted by an ex or current partner who's behaviour is unacceptable – know you aren't alone and there is help out there.

Women's Aid has launched a new campaign to highlight their services and support available to any woman experiencing domestic violence and dating abuse.

The campaign comes as a new Domestic Violence Act provision, extending eligibility to young women in dating relationships, has still not commenced.

Image credit: Women's Aid

The woman's charity says it is continuing to support young women on its 24hr National Freephone Helpline and One to One Services who are being left unprotected and at risk because of these legal delays.

The awareness campaign #TooIntoYou aims to reach 18-25 years old women, to highlight the warning signs of abusive and controlling behaviour in their intimate relationships.

Women's aid want to get the nation talking about the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

In campaign, we meet eight characters, ‘Snooping Simon’, ‘Controlling Conor’, ‘Send Nudes Niall’, ‘Needy Neil’, ‘Dramatic Dan’, ’10 missed calls Ben’ and ‘Triple Text Thomas’ and ‘Why don’t you love me, Luke’.

Each of them reflects real situations we have all found ourselves in and it highlights the harmful ways that we could encounter dating abuse from our boyfriends or exes.

To get the conversation flowing about the issue of violence against women, a 70ft banner has been hung at Liberty Hall for three weeks, in the heart of Dublin. 

Image credit: Women's Aid

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid explained why there is such a crucial need for this campaign.

“Dating abuse is a significant issue for our frontline support services and research has shown that while young women can be at even higher risk of abuse in a relationship than their older counterparts, it can be difficult for young women to see what is happening to them as abuse," she said.

"However, 39 percent of young women (aged 18-29) in Ireland have experienced emotional abuse by a boyfriend or partner and in a national survey on domestic abuse in Ireland, almost 60 percent of those who had experienced severe abuse in intimate relationships first experienced it when they were under the age of 25."

"A stark reminder of this risk is that one in every two women, aged between 18-25, killed in Ireland since 1996 were murdered by their boyfriends or exes,” she added. 

One of the leading voices behind the #TooIntoYou campaign is entrepreneur Norah Casey. Norah sees the campaign as an important measure to prevent abuse and relates her own experience of domestic violence at the hands of her first husband in her 20s.

Norah says: “This campaign is a shout out to young women everywhere about some of those early signs that a relationship might not be good for them. Help us to spread the word far and wide, every woman should know the signs."

"Prevention is far better than the consequences, tragically sometimes fatal, for women who are trapped in abusive and violent relationships.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght, authors of Oh My God What a Complete Aisling are backing the campaign and spoke about including the issue of dating and domestic abuse in their latest book:

“While researching The Importance of Being Aisling we were shocked to discover just how prevalent dating abuse is in Ireland. No one deserves to feel unsafe or threatened in their relationship and it’s absolutely vital that women can spot the red flags early on. We fully support Women’s Aid’s #TooIntoYou campaign and hope that it will help those affected find the support they need to become safe.”

If you are anxious or worried about your relationship, Ms Martin says you aren't alone in feeling something isn't right in your relationship, and highlights some of the signs that indicates you're facing potential abuse. 

“Women in dating relationships contact Women's Aid every day because they are afraid of their boyfriends. Your boyfriend does not have the right to control and abuse you. You should not have to worry about how he will react to what you do."

"You may feel like you are 'walking on eggshells' and living in fear of his moods and temper. Dating abuse is wrong and no one deserves to be threatened, beaten or be in fear for their lives. We want women to know that they can speak to someone in confidence on our 24hr National Freephone Helpline (1800 341 900) to help make sense of what’s going on in their relationship,” she added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If you're experiencing any type of abuse at the hands of your partner, there are people here to help and there is hope of getting out of the situation. 

The Women’s Aid 24 hour National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 is available seven days a week. 

You can find more information about the new campaign here.

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With the first Women’s Aid Purple Run 5k set to take place on September 25th in Dublin, domestic violence survivor Jessica Bowes has called for women to come out and support the cause. 

Jessica, who will be joining Bláthnaid Treacy for the run, has spoken out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-partner and she is urging others to help raise funds for the charity’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline.

Women’s Aid, the national charity supporting women and children affected by domestic violence in Ireland is launching the first-ever Purple Run to raise those much-need funds – so where will this brilliant event take place?

The starting line will be on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 7.30pm on Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4 (Sean Moore Park end).

This is such an important event to put your support behind as Women’s Aid do amazing work, responding to, on average, 50 calls a day from women experiencing emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse from their partners, husbands, and boyfriends.

Abuse survivor Jessica, a Dublin mum of three children, wants people to come out and support this cause.

“Since I spoke out on Prime Time in February this year, lots of women have reached out to me and some of them are coming to run with me on the day. The run for me represents where so many women are on their own journeys escaping domestic violence. Some women can run others can’t but with the right people supporting you we can all get to the finish line!” she said. 

If you want to join in, you can sign up at www.womensaid.ie/purplerun for €25 per person (includes a free t-shirt and raffle entry).

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Last night, the Domestic Violence Bill passed its final stages in the Dáil, putting in place important measures that will aid victims of psychological abuse. 

This move follows a recent report from Women's Aid that they received 10,281 disclosures of emotional abuse during 2017. 

In order to help the victims of such abuse, some of this law's key measures include improving courts access for victims and criminalising controlling behaviour. The bill still has to go back to the Seanad before the President can sign it into law.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says that the Domestic Violence Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by the Oireachtas in 2018.

"The new offence of coercive control sends a clear consistent message that non-violent control in an intimate relationship is criminal," he told BreakingNews.ie.

"The effect of such behaviour may be as harmful to victims as physical abuse because it's an abuse of the unique trust associated with intimate relationships."

Women's Aid Director Margaret Martin commended the passing of the new legislation, and the light it sheds on the fact that abuse goes beyond the physical.

"It's really important that there is move away to understand that domestic violence actually includes so many different forms – whether it's physical, emotional, sexual or financial," she noted.

"An awful lot of people, they may never be physically abused but they may live with the high level of fear and threat and control and I think it's great to see that that's now going to be an offence."

Fianna Fail TD Jim O'Callaghan says that this is also a teaching moment, and more needs to be done to educate young men on how abusing women is unacceptable.

"The only way we are going to be able to resolve the problem and ensure that domestic violence is reduced is through a legislative response – we have that here, but also we need further responses," he observed.

"We need in particular to be able to educate and inform young men of the unacceptability of using violence against women."

We are heartened to hear that the Domestic Violence Bill will help victims of abuse receive the protection and support they need.

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A restaurant in Belfast has issued an apology after a sign promoting their lunch-time deal was the subject of intense criticism in recent days.

Ribs and Bibs on Botanic Avenue promoted their £5 lunch with a distasteful reference to domestic abuse in a move which has understandably caused a furore on various social media channels in recent days.

"Ya can beat the wife, but ya can't beat a 5 pound lunch" read the controversial sign.

Members of the public who came across it wasted no time urging the restaurant to explain itself, with one social media user writing: "Why does ribs and bibs on botanic avenue think this sign is ok? Its horrific and makes light of an issue that's killing people."

 

A post on the restaurant's Facebook page suggested that they were refusing to take the public's distress seriously, with their reply only serving to further raise the ire of social media users.

"My God mate, get a life, it's a bit of wit on a small board outside a restaurant, we're not putting it on the front page of a newspaper, not making a move, see it for what it is, not as you see it," Ribs and Bibs wrote in a Facebook reply.

However, as criticism surrounding the promotion intensified, Ribs and Bibs issued a formal statement, and claimed that the individual responsible for creating the sign was new to the team.

"We do not condone abuse on men or women and the member of staff has only been working with us a couple of weeks and was on shift today by himself."

"We are dealing with it and would like to apologise for any offence caused and it will be dealt with by the management team."

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By the time the first hit came, I was already a shell of a person. When you see the psychological signs, don’t ignore them. When it feels wrong, it is wrong.”

One in five women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and unfortunately that number is on the rise. RTÉ are confronting the reality of domestic abuse in revealing new online documentary series – UPFRONT: Domestic Abuse. 

The two part documentary follows RTÉ reporter, Della Kilroy, as she talks to the women behind the statistics.

The series delves into the many forms of domestic abuse, from physical, emotional to sexual and financial. It also shows the various support option available to those who think they might be in an abusive relationship.

What's more, UPRONT: Domestic Abuse will feature an interview with a perpetrator who is currently enrolled in a rehabilitation programme.

Last year, Women's Aid received over 16,000 calls reporting domestic abuse and the charity revealed they have seen a huge increase in the amount of young women coming forward.

As well as that, a 2016 study conducted by the team here at SHEmazing revealed that dating abuse affects one in three women, with 60 per cent believing it was their fault.

Results also showed over half of the 1,000 women surveyed admitted to knowing someone in their immediate circle of friends that had been in an abusive relationship.

Any woman, regardless of age, class or occupation can find themselves in an abusive relationship and in this new online documentary we see business women, students and mothers share their own individual experiences.

Researcher and reporter for the RTÉ Player series UPFRONT, Della Kilroy said: ''You might think you don’t know someone that has been affected by domestic abuse, but research suggests you probably do. One in five women in Ireland will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.''

''This means that every day in Ireland, women are beaten, raped and even hospitalised leaving ongoing physical and mental health issues. This doesn’t just happen in the home, as evidence points to an increasing number of young women experiencing abuse in dating relationships.''

UPFRONT is available to watch now on RTÉ Player .

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, please contact:  Women’s Aid freephone 1800 341 900 1800 341 900 or visit  www.womensaid.ie and www.2in2u.ie

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Figures from Women's Aid, Ireland's national domestic support organisation, show that 19,000 contacts were made to the domestic abuse support service in 2016.

As well as reports of domestic abuse, there were nearly 4,000 disclosures of child abuse, according to RTE.

The service launched its extended National Freephone Helpline as a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service in September 2016, and this is the first report since that time. 

96 per cent of callers were women, while 4 per cent were men.

In regards to domestic abuse, the helpline saw a 70 per cent jump in calls logged, with 16,946 disclosures of domestic violence against women noted compared to 9,000 the year previously. 

11,000 of these calls were about emotional abuse, 3,500 were disclosures of assault and almost 700 were reports of rape, according to the report. 

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