Violence Against Women & Girls Strategy welcomed

Women’s Aid ABCLN (Antrim Ballymena Carrick Larne Newtownabbey) has welcomed the announcement that the NI Executive has committed to develop a ‘Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy’ here.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 8:00 am

It comes in response to calls for action, as eight women have lost their lives in 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% of victims were women, 31% of victims were men, and 86% of perpetrators were men.”

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.

Last month, Antrim and Newtownabbey (PCSP) launched a new Domestic Abuse awareness raising campaign ‘Domestic Abuse – It is Never OK’. Cllr McClelland said: “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.”

Women’s Aid ABCLN Communications and Engagement Manger, Arlene Creighton sai: “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 girl, and this was followed by the Ulster Unionist Party, Alliance Party, SDLP and DUP including First Minister Arlene Foster.

Arlene Creighton says “We are delighted that all parties in the NI Executive have shown their unanimous support for development of a Violence Against Women and Girls strategy”.