Women’s Aid ABCLN welcomes strategy to tackle violence against women and girls

Women’s Aid ABCLN has welcomed the announcement that the Northern Ireland Executive has committed to develop a ‘Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy’ here in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 3:34 pm
Antrim & Newtownabbey Deputy Mayor and Women’s Aid ABCLN Ambassador Cllr Noreen McClelland, Antrim & Newtownabbey PSCP Chair, Cllr Leah Smyth and Women’s Aid ABCLN Communications and Engagement Manager, Arlene Creighton.

It follows a call for action after eight women lost their lives during lockdown in Northern Ireland due to domestic abuse incidents in the last year.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Deputy Mayor and Women’s Aid ABCLN ambassador, Noreen McClelland said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those women, including Karen McClean and Stacey Knell in Newtownabbey.

“Whilst anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, we know it is an issue that disproportionately impacts women. PSNI statistics show that out of all reported domestic abuse crimes, 69 percent of victims were women, 31 percent of victims were men, and 86 percent of perpetrators were men.”

Earlier this month, Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) launched a new Domestic Abuse awareness raising campaign ‘Domestic Abuse – It is Never OK’.

“We are the only part of the UK that does not recognise the gendered nature of violence against women and girls. We stand together with all victims of domestic abuse,” Cllr McClelland continued.

Women’s Aid ABCLN communications and engagement manager, Arlene Creighton added: “One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. In Northern Ireland, 31,817 domestic abuse incidents were recorded in 2019-2020. This equates to one incident of domestic abuse every 17 minutes.”

Women’s Aid ABCLN encourages groups and individuals across Northern Ireland to take action by supporting the White Ribbon campaign and making the personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

Over the past year their campaign has been supported by the Chief Constable, PSNI and Department of Justice.

Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA signed the White Ribbon Charter at the height of lockdown, making his personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. This was followed by the Ulster Unionist Party, Alliance Party, SDLP and DUP, including First Minister Arlene Foster.

Women’s Aid ABCLN provides confidential support, information and emergency accommodation for women and children who are affected by domestic abuse across Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey.

If you are affected by domestic abuse you can call Women’s Aid ABCLN on 028 25632136.