A Derry councillor who has worked for the homeless charity First Housing has expressed shock at the online abuse directed at her for supporting the work of charities who operate ‘beauty banks’.
On Friday the ‘Journal’ reported how Sinn Féin Councillor, Sandra Duffy, had called on people to consider donating cosmetic and hygiene products this Christmas to help homeless women and victims of domestic violence.
But after issuing her appeal Colr. Duffy claimed to have been subjected to a litany of online abuse.
“I was quite shocked at some of the hurtful, misogynistic online comments made about an interview I gave to the ‘Journal’ about the concept of so-called ‘beauty banks’. It’s very clear that many of those commenting hadn’t even read the article in full,” she said.
Colr. Duffy said she was disappointed her support for the ‘beauty bank’ concept had become a focus of attack for her political opponents.
“To make matters worse, I was contacted by a number people who simply couldn’t believe that several elected representatives became part of this commentary in their haste to attack me.
"As part of a lengthy interview around the whole issue of period poverty I spoke about also helping beauty banks and the positive impact that can have in communities.
"Beauty banks are not my proposal. They are already being run by recognised charities who are doing sterling work helping thousands of homeless people and victims of domestic violence. A simple online search would have established that. They are helping people who struggle to maintain personal hygiene because of their circumstances and who often find their confidence, self-esteem, and well-being suffer as a result,” she said.
Colr. Duffy thanked those who offered help saying it showed Derry’s true nature.
“If people want to launch political attacks, they should direct it at the Tories whose policies are driving people into homelessness and poverty, not charities and those trying to help support them.”