Health and Justice Ministers reaffirm their commitment to tackling domestic violence

3 August, 2011

Health Minister Edwin Poots and Justice Minister David Ford today visited the Naomi Centre in Ballymena to see at first hand the invaluable work undertaken by Women’s Aid.


Rosemary Magill, Area Manager of Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey (ABCLN) welcomed the Ministers to the centre where they had the opportunity to discuss the commitments under the Tackling Violence at Home 2010/12 Action Plan. They also discussed those measures aimed at encouraging employers to develop workplace policies to support staff living with domestic violence.


Minister Poots said: “Domestic violence is a very serious problem and we must do all we can to protect the vulnerable and bring to justice the perpetrators. Through raising awareness and by providing better services for victims and families we can all help to remove the abuse that is widespread in our society.


“I have been encouraged by the dedication and commitment of the staff I have met today at the Naomi Centre and am impressed by the work undertaken by Women’s Aid (ABCLN), and their social economy business, Onus Training, in developing a Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence.”


Minister Ford added: “Domestic violence can not be tackled by justice alone and I welcome the opportunity to visit the Naomi Centre with my Ministerial colleague Edwin Poots. I applaud the work that Women’s Aid has done in bringing the issue of domestic violence to a wider audience and I support them in their ongoing work.

“Domestic violence is a crime and I am committed to doing everything I can to tackle this problem. As Justice Minister I have introduced new measures to support victims of domestic violence. I know however that more can be done and it is essential that we work in partnership with organisations like Women’s Aid to deal with the threat and support the victims.”


Speaking about the Workplace Charter, Rosemary Magill said: “We realised, through collaborating with employers and other external advisers how best to encourage organisations to adopt a means of supporting employees living with domestic violence. We are proud of the work we have carried out over the years and would like to acknowledge all those who have contributed to the development of the Workplace Charter.    


“Already, many victims have seen the benefits of having a workplace strategy in place, and we hope that the Ministers will endorse this work and help us progress this vital aspect of the Tackling Violence at Home Strategy.”