Rendezvous Project launched in Ballymena

8 June, 2009

Representatives from Women’s Aid, PSNI, solicitors, Victim Support and local politicians were amongst those in the audience today to see the launch of the first ‘one-stop-shop’ for victims of domestic violence. 

‘Rendezvous’ is an innovative new project, and a product of the excellent working relationship that has evolved between Women’s Aid, Victim Support, PSNI and local solicitors working together to obtain the most effective outcome possible for victims. For the first time, victims of domestic violence can access the expertise of a number of agencies in the one place, at the same time. 

As well as a PSNI Domestic Violence Officer, who is specifically trained to support victims of domestic violence, a Victim Support and a Women’s Aid worker, it will also be possible to obtain legal advice from one of a number of local solicitors who have offered their services to this project. 

Gail McLaughlin, Senior Floating Support Worker for Women’s Aid, is delighted to be involved with the project. She stated:

‘At a time when a victim is feeling particularly vulnerable, they have to go from pillar to post, and tell and re-tell very personal and harrowing details. Having to go into a police station and to a solicitor’s office can be daunting for many people, so we are delighted to have these facilities, where victims can drop-in, and access the help they need in a comfortable, informal environment.’

Mervyn Storey, North Antrim MLA, also came along to endorse the project. An enduring supporter of Women’s Aid, Mervyn welcomed the enhanced services now available for local residents, as well as the initiative shown by the respective agencies in working together to address what is sadly a common, yet largely hidden, problem in the area.