Women’s Aid across Northern Ireland are joining with the global campaign and invite you to join us to take action on ending violence against women and girls.

The 16 days of Action on Violence Against Women and Girls 2019 commences today (Monday) and will continue to December 10 ending on Human Rights Day, highlighting that violence against women is a violation of human rights. 

Throughout the 16 Days, Women’s Aid are campaigning to end violence against women and girls raising awareness of the vital, core, frontline and specialised services that are delivered 365 days a year across the region by focusing on the work that we do through short films on social media.

In Northern Ireland, PSNI Statistics show 31,682 domestic abuse incidents this year, 5.9 per cent increase on the previous 12 months and the highest financial year figure recorded since 2004/5.

Northern Ireland had the highest rate of femicide in Europe together with Romania per 100,000 in the population. Domestic violence is not going away and many women lose their lives every year.  In NI incidents of domestic violence are rising and protections for women are weaker than the rest of the UK and Ireland.

In Northern Ireland this year Women’s Aid provided refuge accommodation for 653 women, 6,308 women accessed outreach and floating support services. 381 women could not access refuge because it was full.  Women’s Aid never want to have to turn a woman or a woman and her children away because there is no room, but this is the harsh reality with the decrease in accessibility to appropriate, safe housing in Northern Ireland. In Fermanagh, on this day, Fermanagh Women’s Aid is currently supporting 87 women and 99 children in Outreach Community Support and 3 women and 2 children being accommodated in our Crisis Accommodation. There are 60 women and 61 children on our waiting lists, waiting for essential crisis and early intervention support for their experiences of domestic violence and abuse. 

Women’s Aid continues to lobby for change that will help us achieve our vision of eliminating domestic violence and abuse.  During the 16 Days of Action it allows everyone to highlight gender-based violence across the country.

The cost of domestic and sexual violence in Northern Ireland is estimated at £885.7 million  with Women’s Aid service provision at current levels across NI is less than 1 per cent of this total cost.  So it is everyone’s business and we call on our society to renew our allegiance to the elimination of gender inequality and gender-based violence. We call on our communities in all their diversities and from all society sectors to intensify and/or join calls for an end to gender-based violence and gender inequality. 

You can support the organisations across Facebook and Twitter throughout the duration of the 16 Days with the hashtags: #WeAreWomensAid #16DaysofActionNI