Time to tackle Culture of abuse

Mayor of Derry, Colr Martin Reilly with the Baroness of Basildon, Mark Durkan, MP, Marie Brown (Foyle Womens Aid) and Alderman Maurice Devenney at the opening of the newly renovated Foyle Women's Aid premises. (DER4813JB065)
Mayor of Derry, Colr Martin Reilly with the Baroness of Basildon, Mark Durkan, MP, Marie Brown (Foyle Womens Aid) and Alderman Maurice Devenney at the opening of the newly renovated Foyle Women's Aid premises. (DER4813JB065)

Incidences of domestic abuse in Derry are continuing to rise and increase in both ‘intensity and severity’ - the director of Foyle Women’s Aid revealed on Friday.

Marie Brown was speaking at the opening of a new family abuse hub and supported housing scheme at Ardmore when she called on Derry City Council, local MLAs and MP Mark Durkan to champion the work of Foyle Women’s Aid in the coming years.

“Domestic abuse is on the increase in Northern Ireland and particularly in the Foyle area,” Ms Brown said.

“We are seeing an increase in the intensity and severity of physical abuse which is particularly worrying.

“We are also working with many people who were born into a domestic violence setting and who have gone on to find themselves in abusive relationships.

“Abuse is sometimes the only thing they have known in their lives.”

While opening of the new faciliy at Ashleywood House was heralded as a “moment of celebration” for those associated with Women’s Aid, Ms Brown was keen to point out it was only phase one of a two part plan held by the organisation.

Foyle Women’s Aid plan to establish a Family Justice Centre which will act as a hub of advice and support for survivors of domestic abuse.

Appealing for the support of local and regional politicians to help make that dream a reality Ms Brown said: “Would it not be a great legacy for this city to tackle the culture of domestic abuse which exists here?”

To read more on this story see pages 20 & 21.