Council Provides ‘Safe Place’ Locations for Anyone Affected by Domestic Violence
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is delighted to introduce the Safe Place Initiative across its key Council facilities.
The Council is committed to the principle that domestic abuse and sexual violence is unacceptable behaviour and everyone has the right to live free from fear and abuse. It works collaboratively with key statutory agencies and Health Trusts to ensure support and protection of individuals and families experiencing domestic violence be a priority in all council buildings.
In support of this ethos the Council has been working in partnership with Onus NI on the introduction of the Safe Place Initiative for both its employees and members of the public. The Initiative was launched by Onus in 2011 and since then over 1,700 organisations have registered as a Safe Place. The premise behind the initiative is that it allows any business, organisation, church, school or community group to provide a ‘Safe Place’ where anyone affected by domestic abuse can confidentially access information on the range of support services available to them.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “Everyone deserves to live in safety, and it is extremely important that anyone experiencing abuse knows that help and support is available. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Onus on this Initiative and together we want to ensure everyone in our community can access this support through the designated Safe Place locations across the district within a safe and supportive environment. Across our district we are committed to creating a zero-tolerance approach to domestic abuse regardless of location, gender or circumstance.”
Details of all fourteen Safe Place locations can be found on our Council’s corporate website at www.newrymournedown.org/safeguarding. Locations will display the Safe Place logo indicating that information on services for anyone affected by domestic violence and abuse is available at that specific site.
Collette Stewart, Onus NI Chief Executive said, “An estimated one in four women and one
in seven men will experience domestic abuse so not all employees are as safe in their homes as they should be. Their workplace can be the Safe Place for them to access information and support and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council not only developed a workplace policy outlining support available but has also trained staff as 'Safe Place Advocates' to provide an informed and compassionate response to anyone who needs it.
“We have really enjoyed working alongside the Council to develop and deliver this work and are delighted they have joined the growing network of employers to be awarded the Onus Gold Workplace Charter in recognition of their commitment to support any member of staff experiencing domestic abuse.”
As a Safe Place organisation Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will:
- Support the Safe Place Campaign Pledge: never to commit, condone or stay silent about domestic violence.
- Provide a safe place for victims of domestic violence to confidentially access information.
- Acknowledge domestic violence is a problem that impacts on all of us as a society and will be prepared to play our part in supporting victims and state clearly to perpetrators that we will not tolerate abuse in our community.
For further information please contact Gary Scott, Safeguarding Coordinator via email at Gary.Scott@nmandd.org.