Going to be a little more serious today.
Without going into too much detail, I recently benefited from the services of Women’s Aid. For those of you who don’t know, Women’s Aid is a service across the UK and Ireland for victims of domestic abuse. They offer support to women and children who have suffered at the hands of partners and family.
They offer a variety of services, and the district I am in offers the following:
- someone to talk to
- emergency accommodation
- ‘floating support’ in a safe place in the community at a time that suits you
- support and information on your rights
- accompaniment to solicitors and court
- one-to-one and group support
- education and personal development programmes
- support services for children and young people.
- They have also recently obtained funds for a “One Stop Shop” where victims can talk to housing benefit officers, a solicitor, police, receive information on benefits, and talk to Women’s Aid.
A few statistics on Northern Ireland (bearing in mind domestic violence is often hidden and numbers could be much larger, and it is just as bad in other parts of the UK):
One in four women in Northern Ireland have at some point in their life been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of all domestic violence starts during pregnancy. 5 women a year are murdered as a result of domestic violence.
In 2011 the PSNI reported that they were responding to a case of domestic violence every 23 minutes. The police must attend to an average of 60 domestic cases per day in Northern Ireland. The cost of domestic violence to Northern Ireland is up to £180 million per year.
A study of 108 mothers who had been the victim of domestic violence in Northern Ireland uncovered the following statistics: 90% of children in these homes were aware that violence was occurring. 75% had witnessed violence at home. 27% had been physically abused themselves by the violent partner.
Domestic violence against men is at its highest level of all time in Northern Ireland. Domestic violence against men has increased 40% in the last 9 years. From 2012-2013 the reporting of these cases increased 25%.
The reason I am talking about this service is because
- I want people to know help is available whether you’re suffering from mental/emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse.
- I want to give back to the people that helped me to gain the confidence to move on, and not take the blame for someone elses actions.
I want to begin a fundraising campaign for Women’s Aid, and have set up a justgiving page here.
I will actively be fundraising over the next lot of months in a range of different ways, including raffles, coffee mornings, etc, and I’ll update you as I go along.
I’m asking that if you can spare even £1 for this amazing cause that you do so. It is a cause very close to my heart and one that helps so many others.
If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this blog post, you can contact Women’s Aid across the UK in the following ways:
Thanks for reading, and I really appreciate any donations at all, be it 50p or £5.