Embargoed 11th February 2003
Women’s Aid concerned at increase in brutal crimes against women.
Reported incidents this week have again brutally illustrated that
violence against women is at a horrifying level.
Northern Ireland Women's Aid Federation extends its sympathy to the
family of Catrina Baird, who was shot dead yesterday in County Antrim in
what appears to be a domestic murder. We have also seen the death of
mother of two, Jillian Doherty from Coleraine, in what also appears to
be a domestic murder just 12 days ago.
Graham, of NI Women’s Aid said
Catrina’s murder yesterday is part of an emerging pattern of domestic
murders which needs to be highlighted and addressed by the whole
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 everyone to respond strongly to overcome the effects of
domestic violence and to make homes a place of safety and peace. “
Aid calls for the Government to 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 domestic violence.
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 impact of domestic
violence on children either witnessing or being subject to domestic
violence is extremely detrimental.
Aid has been working to eliminate domestic violence in Northern Ireland
for over twenty years. They have developed a range of support services
for women, young people and children living with and surviving domestic
violence which include the 24 hour Helpline; outreach services in the
community; drop in centres; support services for children and young
people and training and awareness raising. For women and their children
who have to leave their home, Women’s Aid provide refuge accommodation
and aftercare support services.
Women’s Aid 24 hour Helpline number is 028 90331818. Women can call the
Helpline for assistance and support and the Helpline can direct women to
Women’s Aid groups in their own locality where they can avail of a range
of support services for themselves and their children.
Notes to editors
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. These men tend to be current or previous partners.
Women’s Aid 24 hour Helpline received 15,640 calls last year relating to
physical and emotional abuse of women in their homes. This is an
alarming 15% increase on last year’s figure.
helpline responded to a total of 60,685 calls since 1995.
Aid has accommodated 11,082 women and 16,986 children in refuges in
Northern Ireland since 1989.
year the PSNI responded to over 14,000 domestic incidents.