Safe Ireland was a partner in an EU funded project called PIE4shelters which commenced in January 2018 and which ran 2 years.

The project aimed to improve the capacity of homeless services including domestic violence refuges to support women with the experience of homelessness and gender-based violence.

It was co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme of the European Commission. It was implemented by a consortium comprising of homeless and gender-based violence services which included: BMSZKI- Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy (Hungary, coordinator), CVFE – Collectif contre les Violences Familiales et l’Exclusion (Belgium), FEANTSA (Belgium/EU), Safe Ireland (Ireland), fio.PSD (Italy) and DePaul (UK).

The main activities and outputs of the project were:

  • Develop a PIE training framework, target group were homeless and domestic violence refuges.

The project developed a training guideline for domestic violence and homeless services, based on a trauma-informed practice tailored approach which can be accessed here.

The PIE4shelters Guide aims at providing practical guidance and materials to improve service provision for women who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness and gender-based violence (GBV). The guide is targeted at homeless services, specialist GBV services and other services that support women who have experienced homelessness and GBV. The four language versions (English, French, Hungarian and Italian) are fully available on the PIE4shelters project website.

  • Train frontline and management staff working with homeless services/domestic violence refuges in the partner countries HU, BE, IE, IT, UK.

In Ireland, Safe Ireland delivered 10 training sessions to frontline domestic violence refuge staff. There were a total of 173 participants that attended across all training sessions. The total number of individual people trained equalled 89 and is inclusive of frontline staff, management, board members, administrative staff, maintenance staff, housekeeping, and volunteers. 

In total 4 different modules were delivered. Module 1 which provided a general introduction to trauma and Trauma-Informed Care and Responses was delivered to all staff including management and some board members.

Module 2 and 3 were delivered to staff and management with a frontline function. The aim of these training modules was to make sense of trauma in the context of domestic violence.

Module 4 was delivered to management and board members and focused on learning about and exploring the organisational implications of becoming a Trauma-Informed Care Organisation.

  • Organize national awareness-raising events on PIE in partner countries, the target group are homeless services.

In order to disseminate the learning from the PIE4Shelter project, we targeted two awareness-raising events. The first was a national conference on Trauma-Informed Care where the audience was mainly comprised of managers and frontline staff in the social services sector including specialist DV and Homeless service providers. Caitriona Gleeson gave a 15-minute presentation on developing Trauma-Informed Environments to respond to women experiences GBV.

We also presented details of the PIE4Shelter project to our members at a national meeting which we held to raise awareness of the project and related issues concerning service provision, homelessness, domestic abuse and trauma. This event was held in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone on Tuesday the 10th December. There was facilitated dialogue led by the PIE4Shelter Coordinator and Safe Ireland CEO Sharon O’Halloran. Information about the PIE4Shelter programme and the emerging issues were discussed with the participants.