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25 November 2009


The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly today hosted an event in Parliament Buildings at which he accepted a copy of the White Ribbon Charter signed by all Members of the Assembly and championed by Women’s Aid. The charter will now be put on public display in Parliament Buildings.

The Speaker was joined by the Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey MLA and Chair of the Health Committee, Jim Wells MLA.

Speaking at the launch, the Speaker, William Hay MLA said: “One of the first debates in the Northern Ireland Assembly was on domestic violence. At that time, all those who spoke were unanimous in their condemnation of this scourge in our homes and communities.”

The Speaker continued: “I am very proud to add my voice to the pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women.”

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey added: “Domestic violence and abuse is a serious problem in Northern Ireland; it can devastate the lives of victims and their families. The White Ribbon Charter reminds us that domestic violence knows no boundaries. It affects people right across society – from all walks of life.

“Working together we can make domestic violence totally and absolutely unacceptable in society and ensure that appropriate resources are in place to provide support for victims. That’s why I am so encouraged, as Chair of the Inter-ministerial Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence, that all my ministerial colleagues have wholeheartedly supported this campaign too.”

Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee, Jim Wells MLA concluded: “ It is a damnable indictment on our society that domestic violence is still so common. I find it incredible that we still live in a society where our mothers, daughters and sisters are still living in fear of violence in their own homes.

“I am pleased to lend my support and the support of my Committee to this campaign and to the eradication of domestic violence in Northern Ireland.”

The White Ribbon campaign aims to highlight the high levels of domestic violence that exists in society and strives to eliminate it.


Notes to Editor:

The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men's violence against women.

Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey brought A White Ribbon Charter to Parliament Buildings. This charter, which pledges never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women.


For media enquiries please contact:

Debra Savage , Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel: 028 90521405
Mobile : 07920 864221

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