A ground breaking new short film, ‘My Story’, has been launched by Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey (ABCLN)

22 April, 2015

Press Release 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015
A ground breaking new short film, ‘My Story’, has been launched by Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey (ABCLN) today. The documentary style film has allowed local victims of domestic violence to tell their story while offering hope to other women living with domestic violence.
Last year the same group of Women’s Aid ABCLN women made their first film ‘Don’t Silence the Violence’ in collaboration with the Ulster Orchestra and Causeway Media. ‘Don’t Silence the Violence’, illustrates the harrowing cycle of violence a woman experiences at the hands of her violent partner. 
‘Don’t Silence the Violence’ was hugely impactful and the women involved in its production wanted to further reach out to other victims to give them hope and the message that they are not alone or responsible for the violence and abuse they experience at the hands of the partner they put their love and trust into. ‘My Story’ allowed the women to do this taking viewers behind the scenes of the making of ‘Don’t Silence The Violence’ documenting the women’s experiences and telling victims of domestic violence what support is available through Women’s Aid.
Both films have been supported by Japan Tobacco Industry (JTI). 


Rosemary Magill from Women’s Aid ABCLN said, “Victims of domestic violence are isolated through their experiences of violence. This isolation and fear are tools that perpetrators use to keep women trapped in violent, abusive relationships. The women who informed the making of these films understood this very well and are reaching out to other women to offer support and tell them they are not alone. Their message is Don’t Silence the Violence – Speak Up, Step Out, We are here to listen and help.”
Pam Cameron MLA, Rosemary Magill Women's Aid ABCLN Area Manager and Rev McCrea
The launch was supported by local MLA, Pam Cameron, “In Northern Ireland there is one domestic incident every 19 minutes of every day, this is an alarming figure. The Women’s Aid groups have been at the forefront in tackling domestic violence and supporting victims in an empowering and positive manner. Domestic violence is hugely traumatic for victims and their families and ‘My Story’ is necessary reminder of the support that Women’s Aid can provide for those that need it.”
 “It is their film. It is their story,” explains Jonathan Simmance, Ulster Orchestra who worked on the project along with his colleague Sam Staunton. He adds, “I  have  had  my eyes  opened  to  the  realities  and  prevalence  of  domestic violence, and I am honoured to have worked on both films, so that many more people can also be enlightened.”
Ruth Forbes, Community Investment Manager, JTI UK, Jonathan Simmance, The Ulster Orchestra, Joe Kennedy, Causeway Solutions, Sam Staunton, The Ulster Orchestra and Fran O'Boyle, Services Manager Women's Aid ABCLN attending the launch of 'My Story' at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. 
After attending the launch the Minister for Social Development, Mervyn Storey MLA, said, “Domestic violence cannot be tolerated. The home should be a place of safety rather than a source of danger.  This documentary has provided women with the opportunity to tell their own story – an experience which I am sure was difficult and I pay tribute to all those involved for their bravery.  It is important for us to hear of their experiences and most importantly, for victims to know they are not alone and that support is available.”
‘My Story’ is available to view on Women’s Aid website www.womens-aid.org.uk  and also on YouTube
For more information on Women’s Aid, visit http://www.womens-aid.org.uk/node/2
Notes for editors
For media enquiries please e-mail Bronagh.oboyle@womensaidabcln.org or call 07835309793.
Support can be accessed by calling The Naomi Centre on 02825 632136 or the 24hr Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414 (Open to all women and men affected by domestic and sexual violence). Alternatively read about our services by visiting www.womens-aid.org.uk
To help support children and young people affected by domestic violence, text Donate WAID 15 £3 TO 70070
http://youtu.be/YyuQvlQwiI8 (Link to My Story)