“I will do all that I can to support and continue to deliver for those affected by domestic abuse.” That was the message from Justice Minster Naomi Long today.
Speaking after hearing directly from people affected by domestic abuse, as well as specialists working in this field from Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid, Naomi Long said: “Tackling domestic abuse is extremely important to me and has been a priority throughout my time as Justice Minster.
“As part of my work I have been keen to hear about the experiences of those most affected. Engagement with experts in this field, such as the staff from Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid, who continue to undertake extremely important work, on the ground, in delivering help and support to those in need is also critical.
“I want to thank those that I heard from today, for taking the time to tell me about their experience, and to acknowledge the courage that they have shown including through seeking justice. I listened to their views on tackling domestic abuse, reflecting on their own personal experiences, which can further inform and make a difference to the important work we’re taking forward with a range of voluntary sector partners.
“I want to make it clear that as Justice Minister I will do all that I can to deliver for those affected by domestic abuse, whether male, female or LGBTQIA+ given that domestic abuse affects all. This includes the new domestic abuse offence to be introduced next year, as well as associated training and awareness raising on this. In addition, I am bringing forward Protection from Stalking legislation as well as a Justice Bill and work on the Gillen Review to tackle related sexual abuse issues. “
Notes to editors:
1. There are local Women’s Aid groups throughout Northern Ireland, delivering a range of specialised support services to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.
2. Further information on local Women’s Aid organisations can be found at Local groups - Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland.
3. Those affected by domestic abuse, whether male, female or LGBTQIA+ can also contact the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414. If someone needs to ring the police, but are too scared to speak, the ‘silent solution’ means they can call 999 from a mobile, and press 55 when prompted. This lets police know it is a genuine emergency.
4. For media enquiries contact the Department of Justice Press Office at email@example.com
5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
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