Information resources for Traveller women experiencing domestic violence

Sep 3, 2021 | Better Stories, Gender-based violence, Human and fundamental rights, Ireland

To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. The initiatives currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

The Irish NGO Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre has led an inspiring initiative to counter the unequal access to justice of Roma and Traveller women experiencing gender-based violence during COVID-19. 

The customary legal mechanisms to prevent and protect women from gender-based violence are of little use for highly dis-empowered communities, such as Traveller and Roma people. Traveller and Roma women often have reading difficulties and come from a community that does not trust, and even fear the police (Gardai). Most importantly, they do not trust the State system and fear that their children might be taken from them and put into foster care if they call the police. When they do act and report the perpetrator, they could face rejection from their community; and even when they do obtain a barring or safety order, they still fear that the police will not act or arrest the perpetrator in case he breaks the order.

An information pack developed by Traveller women, for Traveller women

To address the unequal access to justice and support stemming from this situation, Pavee Point — a non-governmental organisation comprised of Travellers, Roma and members of the majority population — has developed an information pack for Traveller women, in collaboration with other Traveller’s rights groups operating in Ireland.

The information pack included a barring and safety order leaflet, with or without audio, and a barring and safety order animation. It was developed by traveller women for traveller women, with the audio animation providing very clear information in the language of the community. The aim of this initiative was to close the inequalities gap between women travellers and the settled community in access to rights. While targeted mainly towards Traveller and Roma women, it also adopted an intersectional approach.

Read more on the Pavee Point website