The Director of Foyle Women’s Aid has thanked the people of Derry for supporting a local woman forced to return her child to Australia in what has been described as a ‘human rights travesty.’
The local woman was compelled by court order to return abroad and has since been homeless without any income or financial support despite the fact that she felt that her and her toddler were at grave risk, according to Foyle Women’s Aid.
An appeal was last week set up on her behalf by the local charity who are supporting the woman and her child as they face a lengthy child custody battle.
The case has been compared to that of Derry woman Cara Gunn who was embroiled in a legal battle for custody of her son in America in 2003.
Marie Brown says the ‘Support Sarah’ appeal has been very successful so far and she has urged the public to keep contributing to help the Derry woman who cannot be named for legal reasons.
“We’ve been keeping in contact with her very regularly and the money has been coming in so our priority for now is trying to get Sarah and her son somewhere to live close to the court.
“She has been staying with other people but that is only a short term arrangement. I can tell people that Sarah has days feeling good and days feeling bad.
“But we have all been overwhelmed at the generosity of Derry people who want to help. In a city where so many people have their own financial worries, they are still willing to donate and do what they can to help.
“This is a human rights travesty and not an isolated case.
“We have been contacted by women from Northern Ireland in similar situations in Canada, Australia and America. We need to get these laws reversed.
“We are not going to stop until the Hague Convention is reviewed. The Hague Convention is outdated and does not take into account the woman’s circumstances and fears. How is it right to leave a family so vulnerable?
“In the meantime we want to extend a big thank you from everyone at Foyle Women’s Aid. When we need something, or help for someone the local community here never let us down. Cases like this are what our new family justice centre will be all about.”
A special Danske Bank account has been set up for people who wish to donate to the appeal to help Sarah and her child.
The account name is: Support for Sarah Appeal, the Sort Code is 950676 and Account Number: 30006513