Newtownabbey Borough Council encourage ‘Safe Places’ for victims of domestic violence

8 March, 2010
Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman John Scott and Deputy Mayor, Alderman Paula Bradley, welcomed local businesses to Mossley Mill on International Women’s Day, Monday 8th March, to encourage them to follow their lead by providing ‘Safe Places’ where victims of domestic violence could access support. 
Newtownabbey Borough Council launched their new workplace domestic violence policy at the event, which provides guidelines for supporting any employee of the Council who asks for help to leave an abusive relationship. 
Speaking at the event Alderman John Scott, Mayor John Scott commented:
“This policy applies to all staff, although women tend to be the majority of domestic violence victims. Hopefully other local employers are also recognising that domestic violence is an issue in the Newtownabbey area and will take forward this International Women’s Day challenge to follow the Council’s lead and make a genuine commitment to provide ‘Safe Places’ for victims of domestic violence to ask for support.”
Lindsay Whitcroft, Policy Worker with Women’s Aid ABCLN is funded by Newtownabbey Community Safety Partnership, and worked with Newtownabbey Borough Council in developing the policy. She explained why it was so important for employers to play their part in the overall strategy to tackle domestic violence:
‘It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some stage during their lifetime, and this includes women who work. Social isolation from friends and family are common in abusive relationships, so for these women, the only place they can safely access support is their workplace. Newtownabbey Borough Council have recognised the devastating impact living with domestic abuse can have on employees, and we welcome their commitment to providing a safe place where any employee can be assured of an informed, sensitive and confidential response to any disclosure of abuse’.
 ‘Safe Place’ initiative launched at the event, involves local businesses displaying a ‘Safe Place’ logo, which means that customers will be able to access information on services for victims of domestic violence wherever the logo is displayed. 
1. Women’s Aid (Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey (ABCLN) is an organisation which provides support, information, advice and where necessary accommodation, for women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence.
2. The 24-Hour Free-phone Domestic Violence Helpline 0800 917 1414 is available to all victims of domestic violence.  
3. For further details, please ring Lindsay Whitcroft on (028) 2563 2136 or 07599 311 355.