20:20 Vision Event 16 Days of Action

2 December, 2015

Press Release 

Wednesday, 02 December 2015
Five women are murdered in Northern Ireland every year as a result of domestic violence, an event in Newtownabbey heard last week.
More than one hundred people attended the 20:20 Vision event organised by Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey (ABCLN) in Mossley Mill last week. The event coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marked the first day of 16 Days of Action; an internationally recognised campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence. 
Women’s Aid ABCLN held the event in partnership with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and attendees heard from the Chief Constable George Hamilton and Women’s Aid ABCLN CEO Rosemary Magill, among others. 
Based on current PSNI statistics, it is estimated that over the next five years, 25 women in Northern Ireland will lose their lives as a result of domestic violence. Attendees at the 20:20 Vision event, which included; local Councillors, MLAs, representatives from Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership, Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Department of Justice, were challenged to consider what they can do between now and 2020 to reduce incidents of domestic violence and better support victims of domestic violence.
Speaking at the event Chief Constable George Hamilton said: 
“Behind the stark statistics are people and families whose lives have been utterly ruined.  However, for the Police Service, the statistics are an indication that victims are more prepared to come forward and there is a growing confidence in our response to domestic abuse - when we know it’s happening, we will do something about it.  Indeed we can all do something about it.” 
Rosemary Magill from Women’s Aid ABCLN said: “We all need to challenge ourselves as individuals and the organisations we represent about the future of services for victims of domestic violence into the future . We are asking all those represented here this evening to pledge three actions they will undertake between now and 2020 in support of these essential services to victims and pose challenges to perpetrators of this social evil which costs the public purse £610 million a year.”
Colette Stewart Onus CEO, Pam Brown MLA, Chief Constable George Hamilton, Rosemary Magill Women's Aid ABCLN CEO, David Ford Justice Minister and Adeline Frew Chair of Women's Aid ABCLN Management Committee 
Notes for editors
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•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
•Join in the 16 Days of Action conversation on Twitter using #16DaysOfAction