Workplace Charter Safe Place Ballymena

4 July, 2011

Ballymena Demonstrates Support for Victims of Domestic Violence

In a week that has seen a motion calling for domestic violence to be regarded as a priority for the Department of Justice, attracting unanimous support from all parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Ballymena businesses demonstrated their support for victims locally through being awarded the first Workplace Charters for the town. 


Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr Hubert Nicholl attended the 2nd Annual Workplace Charter Awards Ceremony, at the University of Ulster on Tuesday 31st May, to support Ballymena businesses who have adopted the Workplace Charter and Safe Place initiative recognised. 


Speaking after the event, he said:


‘We want every citizen in Ballymena to feel safe.  We take for granted the safety of our own home, yet we know that for many local residents, the home is the one place where they are most at risk.  There were 818 incidents of domestic violence in Ballymena last year.  We shouldn’t turn a blind eye.  I welcome these businesses who are standing up to offer a Safe Place for victims to access information, and would encourage many more organisations to consider following their example’. 


Amongst the businesses and organisations who have been awarded the Workplace Charter – developed by Ballymena Social Economy Business Onus – are PSNI, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, through to smaller local organisations such as The Front Page and Momentum.


Colette Stewart, Business Manager of Onus says:


‘We believe that domestic violence is an issue for all of us, and we know that many businesses and organisations in Ballymena share that sentiment.  We have developed the Workplace Charter and Safe Place to demonstrate to victims that they do not have to live with abuse.  We hope to roll Safe Place out in Ballymena in the coming months and would encourage any organisation who feels they could add their voice to our campaign to declare Ballymena a place where people can live and work free from domestic violence to support the Workplace Charter and Safe Place initiatives’. 


Anyone dealing with domestic violence can access support by calling the 24hr Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 917 1414.  Safe Place resources also give contact information for PSNI, Victim Support and Childline.