On the way to opening rape center for homeless people in Cork
A meeting between the Taoiseach and supporters of a rape aid center for the homeless in Cork is due to take place next month in an attempt to speed up the project.
Catríona Twomey from Cork Penny Dinners is leading the plan with Mary Crilly from Sexual Violence Center Cork and activist Lavinia Kerwick.
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin assured them that their goal of opening a sanctuary for the homeless following sexual assault would continue.
Such a service is urgently needed for people who are violently raped on the streets of Cork every night, Ms Twomey said.
Sexual violence is rampant on the streets, with victims sometimes experiencing multiple rapes per night and having to face their attackers again in the streets within minutes of being released from medical care, she said.
This week Ms Twomey and Penny Dinners opened a state-of-the-art wellness center on James Street in Cork City called Croí na Laoí, which means ‘Heart of Lee’.
Ms Twomey believes the center will help them identify and monitor people who are in desperate need of respite and refuge from sexual abuse, who can then be quickly referred to the rape center upon arrival. opening.
The center, which was opened by Roy Keane on Tuesday, will also offer cooking classes, educational and training facilities, emotional and psychological support, and free dental and medical care.
Ms Twomey said there are many people in need of such help right now.
“People are really hurting. And the demographics using our services have changed. We now have a lot of good hearted, hard working people who are still struggling to pay all the bills, ”Ms. Twomey said.
“Free dental and medical care should help these people. People who might have a job and not qualify for a medical card but still cannot afford the € 60 to see a doctor.
“We will teach people to cook through cooking classes given by professional chefs. Some famous chefs might even get involved.
“We can teach people to take care of themselves and feed themselves with homemade food, what to buy, where to buy it and how to stretch a budget.
“People are suffering because they cannot afford to buy things, but we hope these skills will help people survive.
“It could save someone’s sanity and save someone’s life. Good nutrition can strengthen someone through a crisis.
“We will also have rooms where we can help people prepare to go back to education and training, to eliminate fear and prepare them with the skills they will need. ”
She said life is difficult for many people right now as the pandemic has stopped people from working, cut off access to services and left many isolated and lonely.
“The majority of people who came to see us before were homeless, had mental health issues or felt lonely. Now we have a lot of people who work or worked before the pandemic who are really struggling. We had journalists and a lot of musicians who needed help. Costs are going up, people are struggling to pay for their utilities, so their food budgets are reduced and they have to come see us.