People from Donegal were among the thousands who took part in a cold swim fundraiser for Women’s Aid yesterday.
The Nollaig na mBan fundraiser had over 1,900 people signing up for a dip in their local areas.
Swims took place in Rossnowlagh and Mountcharles, with other people braving individual swims at their nearest beaches.
The events all had one motivation in mind – to raise much-needed funds for the domestic violence charity Women’s Aid.
Jojo Mc Nulty was joined by two friends Kerry Gallagher and Zia Mc Clean for their dip at Rossnowlagh. They were motivated to take on the challenge to help all women that need to use the Women’s Aid service.
Jojo also wrote this poem for anyone needing support:
I am not Brave
Brave are the women
That fight each day for their life.
A daughter, a sister,
A friend, mother-a wife
Brave are the plans
In secret are made,
Brave is the journey
That these women take.
Brave are the lonely,
Who choose to ‘show up’ everyday.
Brave are the women
Who’s soul is broken and frayed.
Brave are the phone calls-
To Womens Aid and to Guards
Brave are the tears,
The broken dreams, and the scars.
Brave are those
Forced to flee and to fight.
Brave are those fears
That haunt each day and night.
Me-I am not Brave
I’m thankfully privileged I would say
As I have a great life
I don’t have to fight for each day.
But I stand in support
By a dip in the sea on this day
As I’m privileged to know many
That are Brave in these ways
Anyone who wishes to support the brave swimmers taking the plunge this Nollaig na mBan can donate at https://www.idonate.ie/event/coldswimforwomen
Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid said: “We are blown away by the thousands of people who have signed up to take the cold plunge in support of Women’s Aid to mark Nollaig na mBan. Individuals and groups have gone to extraordinary lengths to get involved and get in the sea to help raise funds for our work supporting women subjected to domestic abuse.”
Ms Benson added: “The harm of domestic violence is very real and wide-ranging. One in four women in Ireland experiences abuse by a current or former partner. This is unacceptable and must change. Every woman has the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities. This is not often the case. Every day our support workers on the 24hr National Freephone Helpline and our face to face services hear from women reporting assaults with weapons; constant surveillance and monitoring; relentless put downs and humiliations; the taking and sharing of intimate images online, complete control over all family finances; sexual assault, rape, and being threatened with theirs or their children’s lives. The impacts on these women were chilling and ranged from exhaustion, isolation, and hopelessness; to being brutalised and wounded, suffering miscarriages, poverty, feeling a loss of identity and suicide ideation, hypervigilance; and homelessness.”
For information and support about domestic violence visit www.womensaid.ie
Call the National Freephone Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1800 341 900