Women’s Aid has been raising awareness of violence against women through school and church initiatives in Carrickfergus.
As part of the annual 16 days of action campaign, the charity dedicated to providing refuge, support, information and training to women and children who are suffering abuse within the home organised several events.
A total of 130 sixth form pupils from two local schools debated “should a woman stay in an abusive relationship” and took part in the string exercise which shows the many barriers and agencies a woman has to overcome and meet in order to keep her children and herself safe.
Local churches also read out the Women’s Aid message which included: “In the UK, an average of two women per week are killed by a male partner or former partner. In Northern Ireland, PSNI respond to an incident of domestic violence every nineteen and a half minutes of every day and almost thirty per-cent of all murders in 2012-2013 had a domestic abuse motivation.”
Run between November 25 and December 10, the White Ribbon Campaign is an international initiative by men in opposition to other men’s violence against women. Signing up to the campaign and wearing a white ribbon signifies the wearer vows: “Never to commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women.”
This year Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne, and Newtownabbey supported 1,510 women experiencing abuse and 7,261 children and young people accessed services through Education and Prevention work in schools and the Make It Better Project.
Women, staff and volunteers also made white ribbons for the tree outside the Sarah Centre at Albert Road to highlight the 16 days. Anyone experiencing domestic violence can access support on the 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline Number:0808 802 1414.