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3rd march 1999  

Domestic Violence Forum meets local solicitors 

The Down District Domestic Violence Forum met with local solicitors this week to discuss recent developments aimed at tackling domestic violence.  The Forum’s members represent community, voluntary and statutory agencies all seeking to address the impact of domestic violence on the lives of women, children and on the community. 

The meeting with solicitors is particularly relevant at this time in the lead up to the implementation of the new Family Homes and Domestic Violence (NI) Order later this Spring.  Solicitors frequently provide a service to women seeking protection from violent partners and an understanding of the new legislation is vital for all support agencies.  It is hoped to discuss the legislation at future meetings to monitor its impact. 

Domestic violence affects women from all backgrounds, in every community across Northern Ireland.  The effects of physical and emotional abuse are far reaching and may take a very long time to overcome.  Agencies in the voluntary and statutory sectors are keen to work together to ensure that the most effective support is available to women seeking help.  The Down District Domestic Violence Forum is one way of ensuring co-operation at a local level.  One of its aims is to raise awareness of domestic violence locally and to offer training in effective ways of addressing the needs of women. 

The response of local solicitors to the Forum is very positive and plans for further joint working are underway. 

Anyone who would like to talk in confidence about domestic violence may phone Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation 24hour Helpline

 (01232)  331818   


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