Ballymena Businesses challenged to provide 'Safe Places' for victims of Domestic Violence

27 April, 2010

Ballymena businesses challenged to provide ‘Safe Places’ for victims of domestic violence
Mayor James Currie welcomed local employers to an International Women’s Day event, co-hosted by Women’s Aid and Ballymena Inter-Ethnic Forum, for the launch of the new ‘Safe Place’ initiative. 
Alison Irwin, Head of Equality at Northern Health and Social Care Trust, was Guest Speaker at the event, where she told guests of the newly adopted domestic violence workplace policy.
“The Trust is pleased to have worked with Women’s Aid to develop a policy that will have a positive impact on the lives of our staff. We have a large female workforce and there is no doubt that a number of them will experience domestic violence.”
“The policy proposes the training of domestic violence advisors who can provide the knowledgeable support these women will need and a safe place to work.”
Lindsay Whitcroft, Policy Worker with Women’s Aid, welcomed the new policy, but was keen to point out that it isn’t only large employers who could play a crucial role in supporting victims of domestic violence. She explained:
‘Safe Place is about providing access to information to those women and children who need it. These are people for whom home is not a safe place. Many businesses in Ballymena, especially businesses such as hairdressers and beauticians with a large female customer base, will unknowingly come into contact with victims of domestic violence on a daily basis. All we are asking is that they carry resources to signpost anyone who is unaware that support is available for people in abusive relationships to the services that can help them’.  
Additional information on the ‘Safe Place’ initiative is available from Lindsay Whitcroft in Naomi Centre, Ballymena (028) 2563 2136.