Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation (Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland) welcomes the launch today of
Tackling Violence at Home, the Government’s proposals on domestic violence in Northern Ireland.

Tackling Violence at Home gives a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to addressing violence in the home and sets out for consultation a range of measures that will contribute to a long-awaited strategy on domestic violence. 

Domestic violence is an issue that Government must address.  Research shows that as many as one in four women may experience abuse at home including physical and sexual violence and emotional abuse.  It is Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland’s view that an issue affecting such a significant number of women in our community requires a clear and adequately resourced Government strategy.   Women’s Aid in Northern Ireland has been advocating the development of such a strategy for many years now.   

Hilary Sidwell, Director of Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland commented “We will be seeking the views and reactions of local Women’s Aid groups as well as consulting with other women’s groups and interested parties throughout Northern Ireland to ensure that a realistic and effective strategy is developed.  We aim to reflect the experience and responses of women who are survivors of domestic violence as well as those who provide support services to them.”  

Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland wants to see a Northern Ireland inter-ministerial domestic violence team established to develop a local strategy based on this consultation paper, Tackling Violence at Home.  This strategy should set out to achieve the following goals:

·        To increase safe choices including housing, judicial redress and financial support for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

·        To hold individual abusers accountable for their behaviour in such a way that not only acts as a future deterrent to them but also as a deterrent to potential abusers.

·        To run a public education campaign that confronts social tolerance or approval of domestic violence and challenges inaction by either individuals or organisations.


Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland hopes that the responses and recommendations stimulated during the consultation process will make a major contribution to achieving these goals.  Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland will work with Government departments to support the full and effective implementation of all recommendations.


For further information please contact:

Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation Tel:  028 9024 9041

Email:  Women’s Aid Federation
Northern [email protected]
www.Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland.org



·        The Government published Safety and Justice – a consultation document for England and Wales in June 2003.   It has established a domestic violence inter-ministerial group for England and Wales with representatives from five Government departments and has committed funding of  £21m for three years to local authorities in England and Wales for the development of refuges for women fleeing domestic violence. 

·        The Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation (Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland) was established in 1978 and is marking its 25th year of addressing domestic violence in 2003.  The role of Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland is to act as a co-ordinating and resource support for the 10 local Women’s Aid groups that are affiliated to it.  

·        Since 1996 44 people have been killed in Northern Ireland in domestic murders and the PSNI responded to almost 90,000 domestic incidents over half of which involved violence. 

·        There have been over 78,000 calls to the Women’s Aid Federation
Northern Ireland 24 hour helpline since it was established in 1995. 

·        The British Crime Survey indicates that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. It cuts across class, age, religion and ethnic group. It is most commonly perpetrated by men against women.  

·        The impact of domestic violence on the lives of women can result in homelessness, protracted health problems – mental and physical due to repeated threatened and actual emotional, sexual and physical abuse, hospitalisation and at its most extreme death. 

·        The Women’s Aid 24 hour Helpline number is 028 90331818. Women can call the Helpline for assistance and support.  For women who do not speak English, the helpline now uses Language Line, a UK wide professional interpreting service in over 100 languages.


Click here to view the document at the DHSSPSNI website.Tackling violence at home



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Contact Us:  129 University Street Belfast. BT7 1HP  Tel:(028) 90 249041 Fax:(028) 90 239296  
General email: [email protected]


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