Women's Aid in Antrim issues safety advice

WOMEN’S AID in Antrim has issued safety advice for families trapped in potentially dangerous circumstances because of the coronavirus crisis.

While ‘Stay home to stay safe’ that is the Government’s message, for some, home is not a safe place.

Women’s Aid ABCLN (Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey) has moved to assure women that they are there for them and their children at this time, with online resources and telephone support in your local area.

They said that experience in other countries has shown that as social distancing and isolation deepens incidents of domestic abuse can, and will increase.

Family First Manager, Louise O’Kane says “Through our website and online, Women’s Aid ABCLN is reaching out to women and children to provide the message ‘You are not alone’.”

“We know that women affected by domestic abuse need to be heard, understood and supported at this time; and that all children need endless reassurance, patience and love.

“We aim for these messages to reach family homes with the use of technology, telephone and website.”

Women’s Aid ABLCN is providing strategies to support mums and help them manage children’s behaviour positively.

The organisation will be posting parenting tips on their website, sharing art and craft ideas and creating fun challenges for families to participate in.

Safety planning information is available online for women who feel isolated and at risk, and staff are providing a regular telephone support calls, educational packs for children and food bank where needed for women, children and young people to enable them to safe at home.

Women’s Aid ABCLN Family First Project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund NI.

This is a partnership project with the Northern Health & Social Care Trust, Family Support and Intervention Team offering support to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.

For more information and online resources, you can go to womens-aid.org.uk or call 028 25 632136 to speak to a Women’s Aid ABCLN Support Worker in your local area.

**For a full feature on this important issue, please see this week’s Antrim Guardian**

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