ALLIANCE Victims’ Spokesperson Eileen Bell MLA has said that a new freephone helpline for the victims of domestic abuse will provide a lifeline for many who suffer at the hands of abusive partners.
Mrs Bell, also Alliance Deputy Leader, stated:
“Today’s announcement means that there is much greater certainty about the future of funding for the essential services that Women’s Aid provides. The helpline will be invaluable to the estimated 10 women who are assaulted daily in their own homes.
“Domestic violence is a bigger problem than many people realise, with five deaths related to it every year in Northern Ireland and hundreds of families rehoused because of it.
“As well as the helpline and advertising campaign, the Government now needs to concentrate on speedily changing the law, so that victims can have increased legal protection. The law also needs to be strengthened, so that police have adequate powers to arrest.
“Domestic violence is a scourge on our society, and has not been taken seriously in the past. I welcome the fact that the Government is recognising the extent of the problem and would urge it to continue to support Women’s Aid.”