Young Voices Speak Out On Domestic Violence

12 December, 2011


 Young Voices Speak Out On Domestic Violence

Young people aged from 8-18 from a mix of schools across Ballymena and Antrim performed the play ‘Family Portrait: Voice of a Victim’ at Garnerville Police Training College on Tuesday 6th December. 
Louise O’Kane, Children’s Services Manager, explained how the play was developed:
“We wanted to give the young people we work with in our Young Voices group an opportunity to highlight their experiences of domestic violence. With PSNI responding to an incident of domestic abuse on average every 22 minutes of every day, we must not forget that behind those statistics there is a family, often with children. It is important we support those children and young people too. Exploring and communicating those experiences via the play was a very positive experience for them along with the confidence boost of carrying off a successful performance. We’re very proud of our Young Voices!’
Key messages portrayed in the play were the need for young people to have support networks, to talk to someone about the situation and to any agencies – such as co-hosts of the play Women’s Aid and PSNI - who will provide support and information.
Guests at the event included other organisations who have been engaging with Women’s Aid and PSNI to improve responses to victims of domestic abuse.  These  included Onus, Northern Regional College, Ministry of Defence Police and Army Welfare Associations, Probation Board of Northern Ireland and Antrim GP, Dr Sean Cosgrove. All of these organisations operate a ‘Safe Place’ scheme where victims of domestic abuse can access information, and have adopted means of supporting employees in the workplace. Chief Constable Matt Bagott awarded the organisations with Workplace Charters in recognition of their proactive approach. PSNI also have a Gold Workplace Charter and operate the Safe Place initiative.
The play is one of the events that Women’s Aid have organised during 16 Days of Action on Violence Against Women 2011, which runs every year from 25th November, International Day of Action on Violence Against Women until 10th December, International Human Rights Day. 
Women who are experiencing domestic violence can access support by calling the 24hr Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 917 1414 or read about our services by visiting
- ENDS -


For further information contact Lindsay Harris, Policy & Training or email:
Notes to Editor
Women’s Aid is dedicated to providing refuge, support, information and training to women and children who are suffering abuse within the home, in the Ballymena, Antrim, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey areas. 
Safe Place is an outreach initiative, launched in Ballyclare in October 2010. It provides contact information for 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline, PSNI, Victim Support and Childline. 
The Workplace Charter which recognises organisations who take a proactive approach to supporting employees living with domestic abuse was developed by Onus. Onus is a social economy business which profit sheds to support the services provided by Women’s Aid ABCLN. For more information on Onus and The Workplace Charter, please visit:
For more information about our work visit:
Every penny raised supports women and children in your community.
Donations can be made by:

Women’s Aid ABCLN
Naomi Centre
2 Cullybackey Road
Ballymena BT43 5DF
T 028 2563 2136

Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne & Newtownabbey is a charity recognised by the HM Revenue and Customs No. XR 13095 Company limited by guarantee No.NI 054434