Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland

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24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline: 0800 917 1414



EMBARGOED –11:00am, Monday, 10th October 2005


A new strategy — taking domestic violence seriously Women’s Aid and the Tackling Violence at Home strategy

Women’s Aid welcomes Tackling Violence at Home, the new government strategy to address domestic violence and abuse. Having worked for the safety of women and children for 30 years, Women’s Aid is heartened to see the government recognising the extent and impact of domestic violence in Northern Ireland. 

Women’s Aid believes that one of the strategy’s strengths lies in the recognition that domestic violence is much more than physical abuse and also acknowledges the impact of emotional, verbal, financial and sexual violence.

 The understanding that domestic violence cannot be tackled by any single agency is reflected in the emphasis placed on inter-agency co-operation. Furthermore, training has been identified as a goal to ensure that all professionals have a greater understanding of domestic violence and its impact. 

One of the foundations of the strategy, the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline, builds on Women’s Aid experience of managing the helpline for the past 10 years. The addition of a freephone service in February 2005 ensures that anyone affected by domestic violence can get effective support and clear information.

Women’s Aid looks forward to supporting the development of all these strategic initiatives and seeing their successful outcomes.

 Anne Graham, Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland said:

“Tackling Violence at Home places women and children squarely at the heart of government measures. It is so positive to see that government recognises the importance of preventing domestic violence as well as placing priority on accessible support for victims. Women’s Aid is clearly identified by government as a leading agency in delivering prevention and support services.”

However, Women’s Aid believes there is still some cause for concern.  Although the strategy has positive aims, there are no long term identified resources and a disappointingly vague implementation plan. While the strategy calls on all government departments to come together for future action, it is unclear how this co-ordination will actually happen. This has implications for all service providers, including Women’s Aid, and their ability to deliver services in a planned, strategic and effective manner.

Women’s Aid has been working to eliminate domestic violence in Northern Ireland for 30 years. It has developed a range of services for women, young people and children living with and surviving domestic violence which include the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline; outreach services in the community; drop in centres; support services for children and young people; training and awareness raising. For women and their children who have to leave their home, Women’s Aid provides refuge accommodation and aftercare support services.


For further information please contact:

Stephanie Mallon

Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland 

Tel: 028 9024 9041

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.womensaidni.org