Cuanlee is a purpose built refuge for women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Since opening its doors in March 1978, Cuanlee has provided support, information and shelter 365 days of the year. Cuanlee has a resilient, flexible, creative and highly skilled frontline staff to deal with the varied and often complex needs that families’ present with. They recognise the need to work therapeutically with women and children who are traumatised due to their exposure to violence. Social Care, Social Work, Counselling, Therapeutic Play Worker, Art Therapist, are part of the skill set of our energetic team.



Cuanlee Refuge provides safe and secure, short-term emergency accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic abuse. The refuge is a safe and confidential space for women to explore their options and consider their next steps with the support of our trained staff.
After admission, each family will be allocated two Key-Workers. The Key-Workers work closely with you and your family to identify your needs and build a care plan to ensure your needs and goals are met.

The refuge contains six units; each family will have their own unit which consists of a kitchen/living and sleeping space along with shared bathrooms. We have a communal sitting room for the women to relax in the evenings and a wonderful play and chill-out area for the children.


We have a 24-hour help-line that is available to support you 365 days of the year. We understand that making the first contact can be a very difficult step; we are here to help and listen. We offer confidential and non-judgemental support and information.

Or if you are worried about someone you know and need support or advice, please contact our confidential helpline.


Here at Cuanlee Refuge, we understand the impact that domestic abuse can have on a child and that each child can respond differently to their experiences. We provide a number of child-centred, therapeutic services to support children to overcome and process their experiences. Our Therapeutic Play Worker creates a safe and positive space for children to begin their journey towards healing. We offer one-to-one support, art and play therapy for children of all ages, giving children the space and opportunity to share their experiences and feelings safely, and importantly sometimes, just to play.


Here at Cuanlee, we recognise that not all women experiencing domestic abuse may need to, or even wish to avail of emergency accommodation. Instead, some women may benefit from emotional and practical support from their home, at the refuge or somewhere in their community where they feel safe. Our Outreach Social Worker will work in partnership with you to identify your goals and needs and support you in developing a strategy to achieve this, while keeping your safety and your children’s safety paramount. The Outreach Social Worker assists women who are currently with an abusive partner and those who have already left an abusive relationship and helps them to rebuild their lives.


Cuanlee is committed to not only working with women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, but to also challenge and change the societal structures in which it continues to take place. We do this by working with other agencies and groups, raising awareness of the barriers and challenges that women face, so they may have a deeper understanding of the complexities of domestic abuse and respond accordingly.

We hold a range of informative workshops for women who have experienced domestic abuse and for family and friends who are trying to support a loved one in an abusive relationship, giving guidance and support to move forward.


The legal system and court process can be an intimidating and daunting process. Our trained and experienced staff are here to support and guide you through the process, offering you emotional support and practical advice whenever you need it. They can assist you in preparing for a hearing and accompany you on the day.


A safety plan is a personal plan that helps you to protect yourself and you children in a time of crisis. It guides you in making preparations prior to an explosive incident, so you can best prepare to protect yourself and your children to get help and get out safely.

You can’t stop your partner’s abusive behaviour, only they can. Whether you decide to stay in the relationship or leave, out trained staff will support you in developing your own personal safety plan to help you identify potential dangers prior to them emerging. Having your own safety plan enables you to be better prepared to manage the risks

Some keys points to remember in developing your safety plan:
  • Identify where you can go if you have to leave your home during an explosive incident. This may be at your local refuge or with a family member of friend. Plan how you will get there and have their phone number saved.
  • Always ensure that your phoned is topped up and charged.
  • Know your escape route and practice how you will get out safely.
  • Go to a rom that has an exit where you can escape from and call the Gardaí. Avoid rooms where items can easily be used as weapons.
  • Have a bag packed and keep it with someone you trust.
  • If you cannot avoid being assaulted, curl into the fetal position, protecting you internal organ and your hands over your head.