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Pandemic Highlights Urgent Need For New Women's Refuge In Westmeath

Esker House has been operating out of the same premises since 1982.

The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for a new women's refuge in Westmeath.

Esker House in Athlone reported a 15 per cent increase in helpline calls January, compared with the same month last year.

Manager Deirdre Berry says greater awareness and less resistance to speaking out about domestic violence has led to an influx of users.

They've been operating out of the same premises since the centre was first established in 1982, and remains the only refuge in midlands.

Deirdre says they're seeking the help of Westmeath County Council to set-up an improved, wrap-around service:

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