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Lisburn Women’s Aid today reached another crucial stage in the development of their services for women and children who have suffered domestic violence.  At the celebratory event in The Irish Linen Centre marking the launch of refuge and support services, Lisburn Women’s Aid shared their success and achievement with the local community and special guests. 

Professor Monica McWilliams, Assembly Member for The Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, was guest speaker at the launch.  The refuge offers safe, temporary accommodation to women and children who are escaping the horror of violence and abuse in their own homes. 

This is a bittersweet moment of celebration for the committee, staff and volunteers, who now fully realise the true need for this service.  In only five months, the refuge has already accommodated almost 70 women and children.  Lisburn Women’s Aid is proud to be able to support women and children, but regrets the pain and suffering experienced by so many. 

The launch marks the end of three years of hard work for Lisburn Women’s Aid.  The refuge was jointly planned and developed with Ulidia Housing Association, whose representative addressed the guests from local organisations in Lisburn.  In addition, Angela Courtney from Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation and Colin McKay from Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust, lent their support, both to the event and to the work of the last three years. 

Elaine Carson, the Chairperson of Lisburn Women’s Aid, took the opportunity to thank all their supporters and funders.  She said: 

“While we are proud of our achievement to date, we know that we must continue our efforts to ensure the safety of abused women and children.  We urge our voluntary and statutory partners to continue to support Women’s Aid and to work towards safer homes and communities for everyone.”

Lisburn Women’s Aid invites any woman experiencing abuse at home to contact them for support or accommodation.  You can telephone us on 01846 629444, or call to our Outreach Centre at 16 Bachelors Walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm.  Alternatively you can contact Women’s Aid on our 24 hour Helpline on 01232 331818

  Notes to the Editor: 

·        From 1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999, Northern Ireland Women’s Aid received 17,832 calls from women seeking information or help.  8,000 of these calls were to our 24 hour Helpline. 

·        1,154 women were accommodated in Women’s Aid refuges throughout Northern Ireland.  1,831 children were accommodated in the refuges. 

·        The RUC responded to 14,429 domestic incidents, 6,385 of which involved physical violence.  89% of the victims of that violence were women. 

·        Since June 1999, 27 women and 39 children have sought temporary accommodation in the new Lisburn refuge.

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