THIS year marks the 22nd year of the global 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women. The international days of action began yesterday (Monday), November 25 (UN Day Opposing Violence Against Women) and run to December 10 (Human Rights Day).
Since its birth 22 years ago the campaign has grown in size and strength with over 4,000 organisations in 172 countries taking part worldwide.
Throughout Ireland, women’s support services such as domestic violence services, rape crisis centres, community development projects and family resource centres actively support the campaign.
The campaign aims to highlight the prevalence of violence against women; raise awareness of violence against women as a human rights issue at local, national and international level; and help eliminate all forms of violence against women.
Speaking to The Mayo News Mayo Women’s Support worker Carmel Burke, described the campaign as ‘a very good opportunity to highlight violence against women’.
“It’s an ideal way to raise awareness about our services. We work closely with social workers, legal aid, Mayo County Council, Saint Vincent de Paul and Mayo Travellers Support,” explained Ms Burke, adding that Mayo Women’s Support Services were the first domestic violence service in the country to develop an outreach service.
This year the message the Domestic Violence Network wants to issue is ‘Help Her To Tell’. The combined services that make up the network will be issuing posters and leaflets across Mayo, Galway and Roscommon.
Events throughout the week include the launch of Achill Local Area Network in Achill library on December 3 at 7pm. This community based network is made up of a range of support services for women experiencing violence, along with community representatives and individuals in the Achill area; who all want to raise awareness of, and create a community response to, the issue of violence against women.
Commenting on the new initiative, Genevieve Grealis, coordinator of Corr Acla CDP, which is facilitating the launch, said: “We are delighted to facilitate the launch of this network. Violence against women is a hidden issue that affects approximately one in five women across all sectors of all communities, so it is vital that we develop a community led response to tackle the problem.”
Other events taking place during the 16 days include a White Ribbon Campaign and window displays in Castlebar and Westport. A Lillies Ritual will take place on December 10 at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, at 12.45pm to commemorate the women who have lost their lives, women who are subject to rape and those who are missing.
For more information on the launch of the Achill Local Area Network, contact Corr Acla CDP on 098 20842 or email email@example.com. Women who need support can contact Mayo Women’s Support Services on 094 9027519 or 094 9025409, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. To contact the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre, freephone 1800 234900.
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