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PHOTO-Volunteers shave off hair for fundraising in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest

Hair-shaving event in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest was held in Kasbah Club where two volunteers Áine O’Keeffe and her cousin Jeffery Tobin had their hair shaved for fundraising. Picture: Baoyan Zhang/ ilovelimerick

Volunteers shave off hair for fundraising in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest

By ilovelimerick Correspondent Baoyan Zhang

On Saturday evening, July 14, a special event which included razors and brushes went on in the Kasbah Club, Limerick when two brave volunteers had their hair-shaving in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest.

Áine O’Keeffe and her cousin Jeffery Tobin, from Limerick, were the volunteers in the hair-shaving event for promoting public attraction on sexual abuse and rape issues as well as raising awareness and vital funds for free services that Rape Crisis Midwest provides to victims who suffer from sexual violence.

The whole event lasted for two hours and was hosted by Áine O’Keeffe, with the help of two volunteers from the Rape Crisis Midwest, Yvonne Murphy, and Nikola Kaluzynska. The event consisted of live music, face painting, and a raffle.

The event gained support from a wide range of business such as Basecamp Adventure Park, The Body Building, Nevsail Watersports, Ponaire Coffee Roastery and Bar, Diamond Hairdressing, Bellissimo and Flying Tiger Copenhagen as well as the local medium in Limerick.

Talking about the purpose of shaving off her beautiful 25-inch locks, Áine said, “My purpose in undertaking this event was to raise much-needed funding and awareness for Rape Crisis Mid West. I wanted to try and make an impact in altering the stigma attached to topics around sexual violence. If we, as a country, cannot even talk about an issue, how can we resolve it? So my plan was to try and encourage as many people to talk about the issues related to sexual violence as possible, while also bringing to light the Rape Crisis Mid-West centre and the wonderful work and supports which can be availed of free-of-charge for survivors.” 

Sexual violence issues should be focused on since it has created a stigma, according to Áine . “Many survivors in this country suffer alone and behind closed doors. As a result of flaws in our judicial system and lack of awareness and education around sexuality and sexual violence, survivors often suffer without adequate justice. It is my opinion that acts of sexual violence are treated too leniently in the best of cases or not at all in the worst. It is a matter that appears to be put on the back-burner in this country.  ”  Áine told ilovelimerick.


Volunteers Aine O’Keeffe and her cousin Jeffery Tobin are at the Hair-shaving event in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest in Dolans Kasbah Social Club on Saturday, July 14. Picture: Baoyan Zhang/ ilovelimerick

Her hair will be donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real-hair wigs free of charge to children and young adults up to the age of 24, who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other alopecia-inducing illnesses.

The othe volunteer, Jeffery expressed his pleasure to attend the hair-shaving since the services that Rape Crisis Midwest provided are significant. “Being bald for a while is the least that I can do and hopefully it will help,” he said.

Executive Director of Rape Crisis Midwest, Miriam Duffy, was also the MC of the night, expressed her appreciation to Áine and Jeffery for their involvement.  The hair-shaving event raised over €2,400 for the fund supporting Rape Crisis Midwest’s service while over  €350 on the night were raised alone.

Rape Crisis Midwest opened its doors in Limerick in 1980 and since then has grown, opening two outreach centres in Ennis and Nenagh.  The centre provides a wide range of one to one free support services to all survivors of sexual violence including counselling and court/SATU accompaniment, as well as offering free training and educational programmes to local schools, colleges, and businesses.

Pictures: Baoyan Zhang/ilovelimerick

For more information or donation, go here

For more stories on Rape Crisis Midwest, go here


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.