Women’s Aid in Newtownabbey held a special event recently to mark the official unveiling of an impressive new piece of art completed by a group of local women as part of the annual White Ribbon Campaign.
Representatives from local community and statutory agencies attended the event in Glengormley, including Deputy Mayor Pat McCudden and guest speaker, Inspector Jim Gourley. South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron and Cllr Victor Robinson were also in attendance.
Ase McWilliams, floating support worker for Women’s Aid, said: “We are very proud of this artwork as it was created by women who have used our services. The artwork itself is of 16 individually decorated shoes depicting the women’s past experiences, current circumstances or hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. The number of shoes signifies the 16 Days of Activism of the annual White Ribbon Campaign which runs between November 25 - International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women - and December 10 - International Human Rights Day. This campaign began in 1991 by a group of men who believed that as violence against women is mostly perpetrated by men, that men need to be part of the solution in standing together with women and women’s organisations in taking action to end the problem. We ask people to wear a white ribbon with the pledge: never to commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women.”
Grace McGurk, community resettlement worker, added: “Last year Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey supported over 1,200 women. However considering the statistic that one in four women suffer abuse in their relationships we know that so many continue to suffer in silence. The White Ribbon Campaign is about breaking that silence, for us all to take responsibility in not allowing abuse behind closed doors to continue; and to challenge people’s prejudices and the actions of perpetrators. We are very pleased to have had so many attended this event as it shows their commitment to the White Ribbon Campaign.”
Women’s Aid provides information and support to those living with abuse, informing them of options available including housing, financial and legal entitlements, all with the aim for women to be able to make informed decisions and positive life choices.
Support can be accessed locally by calling 07851 966517, 07821 402024 or by logging on to www.womens-aid.org.uk
Drop-in support is available every Monday between 10am and 12pm at 5A Lesley House, 1-9 Carnmoney Rd, Glengormley.
The 24hr Domestic Violence Helpline number is 0808 8021414.