26/11/2021

Survivors Central To Tackling Violence Against Women And Girls

The voices and experiences of survivors must be central in the efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, the First Minister and deputy First Minister have said.

Paul Givan and Michelle O'Neill were speaking on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as Women's Aid launch their 'Hear Her Voice' project. The Ministers praised contributors to the project, which sought to capture the lived experiences of survivors of domestic abuse.

Speaking at the launch of 'Hear Her Voice', First Minister Paul Givan said: "We are committed to tackling all forms of violence and unwanted behaviour against women and girls. We want a community where women and girls are safe and feel safe.

"This crucial work requires a whole of society approach and we believe that survivors' voices should be at the heart of delivering meaningful change. We are working with partners, including Women's Aid, to develop a strategy that will deliver ambitious solutions to tackle the cause, not just the symptoms of the problem.
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"I commend the incredible courage and resilience of the women who have shared their stories through the 'Hear Her Voice' project. And today, we tell them that we are listening."

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said: "The horrific abuse perpetrated against women and girls across our society is both harrowing and heart breaking. The experiences of survivors tells us the devastating impact that domestic violence has on victims' lives, and the lives of their families. Women and girls feeling unsafe in their own homes, too afraid to speak out or seek help. It must stop.

"This is a priority issue for the Executive and we are making progress on our strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. The immense bravery of the survivors who have shared their experiences will not only help to inform and shape this crucial work, but it will help to empower other women to make their voices heard.

"Today, we think about the voices of many women that have been silenced by domestic abuse. And we say to all the women suffering abuse across our society that your voice matters; you will be listened to; and help is available."

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