A national conference on violence against women took place yesterday at the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport-  marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Safe Ireland organised the conference, and outlined a strategy to make Mayo the safest county in Ireland for women and children - in a pilot programme for preventing and responding to domestic violence and coercive control.

This programme will then be rolled out nationally, county by county.

Safe Ireland works with 36 domestic abuse services across the country, including Mayo Women's Support Services - which last year provided supports to 178 women and 79 children.

However, Sharon O'Halloran - CEO of Safe Ireland - admits that women and children in Mayo, and across the country, who are seeking refuge often cannot be accommodated, as they are not sufficiently resourced to meet the demands on their services.

Sharon has been speaking with Midwest News about their strategy of making Ireland a safer place for women and children, starting here in Mayo.

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