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Alliance: No woman should suffer abuse in silence

Alliance Party MLAs have come together to say enough is enough on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as concerns continue to grow on the impact on women throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kick starting 16 days of activism, MLAs Naomi Long, Paula Bradshaw and Kellie Armstrong have said it is up to all of us to challenge attitudes and raise awareness on this issue.

Naomi Long said: “Too many woman are still suffering in silence, or when they do speak out, find the law doesn't protect them as it should. In 2020 this is absolutely not acceptable. That’s why as Justice Minister I wanted to make lasting change, prioritising the Domestic Abuse Bill as my first piece of legislation, introducing a Committal Reform Bill to eliminate the need for vulnerable victims to give evidence twice in court, preparing a Stalking Protection Bill for introduction this December and taking forward the recommendations of the Gillen Review of Serious Sexual Offences including in a Miscellaneous Provisions Bill planned for next spring.”

Paula Bradshaw said: “2020 has been the year we have all be encouraged to stay home, but for many home is not a safe space. While it is sad that we still need days like this to keep these issues on the agenda, we need to move forward changing attitudes, stamping out intimidation and all kinds of violence towards women.

Kellie Armstrong said: “Violence against women happens in so many forms – from domestic violence to human trafficking, child marriage and emotional abuse and the next 16 days are about highlighting that no one should have to suffer in silence, encouraging victims to come forward and seeking better resources to education wider society.”

If you think someone you know is in an abusive relationship or situation reach out, check they are okay, open the opportunity to seek help. You can access the 24 hour domestic and sexual abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414.