Thousands of abuse victims access Women’s Aid service

Pictured at the Women's Aid AGM in Larne are Councillor Maureen Morrow, Fay Tilson, Caroline Skelton, Rosemary Magill, Adeline Frew, Beth Adger (Dep Mayor Ballymena), Inspector Bob Blemings and Catherine McCrory. INLT 44-325-PR

Pictured at the Women's Aid AGM in Larne are Councillor Maureen Morrow, Fay Tilson, Caroline Skelton, Rosemary Magill, Adeline Frew, Beth Adger (Dep Mayor Ballymena), Inspector Bob Blemings and Catherine McCrory. INLT 44-325-PR

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More than 1,200 women and nearly 5,000 children accessed services by Women’s Aid in east and north Antrim during the past year.

Chair Adeline Frew commended the work of staff and volunteers on behalf of Women’s Aid ABCL&N (covering the Antrim, Ballymena, Carrick, Larne and Newtownabbey districts), but urged that no one can rest on their laurels.

The annual meeting of Women’s Aid ABCL&N reviewed the year and renewed the vision to improve services for women and children living with domestic abuse.

In the 12 months from April, 2011 to March, 2012 some 1,202 women and 4,711 children accessed Women’s Aid ABCL&N services.

Adeline paid tribute to the volunteers – recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – without whom the charity simply could not provide its range of services.

Partnership working, and raising awareness of the services for victims of abuse has been supported by the Safe Place initiative, with churches, businesses, community groups, schools and constituency offices signing up to adopt the initiative aimed at informing domestic violence victims that help is available.

“While it is fitting to acknowledge success in the past year,” said Adeline, “the organisation is not about to rest on its laurels. The forthcoming year will bring its own challenges and, hopefully, more successes which will fulfil the vision to see women and children not only survive domestic abuse, but also recover and move on.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence can also access support by calling the 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 917 1414.