Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland

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September 18 1998 


Women’s Aid is calling for greater attention to be focused on the issue of domestic violence, particularly in light of recent murders and assaults on women. 

Domestic violence is a crime that concerns the whole community.  Most crimes of domestic violence are perpetrated upon women by their current or previous partners.  As we have seen in recent days, it can result in the loss of women’s lives and children being left without parents. 

Women’s Aid has been working to eliminate domestic violence in Northern Ireland for over twenty years.  While we are able to offer safe accommodation and support to women and children, we are calling on other voluntary and statutory agencies to play a full part in addressing this most serious of issues in our society.   

The Government should continue to show leadership in relation to current policies to tackle domestic violence.  Strategies need to be put in place so that all agencies work towards protecting families and providing support services.  Women need to be fully protected by both legislation and the criminal justice system and to feel the support of the public’s condemnation and rejection of domestic violence. 

For too long in Northern Ireland we have had to focus attention on sectarian violence while families have endured fear and abuse in their own homes.  It is time for the whole community to respond strongly to overcome the effects of domestic violence and to make homes a place of safety and peace.

The Women’s Aid 24 hour Helpline has received almost 3000 calls in the last six months relating to physical and emotional abuse of women in their homes.  The Helpline is available to women and support agencies seeking support – phone 01232 331818.


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