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Domestic violence can no longer be hidden crime says Junior Minister Kelly

23 April, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Domestic violence can no longer be a hidden crime Junior Minister Gerry Kelly said today following a visit to a Belfast Women’s Refuge. He said people should be shocked to learn that each year six people are killed as a result of domestic violence and that some 11,000 children are living with it on a daily basis.

Mr Kelly said: “For thousands of people here, instead of home and family providing protection and safety, parents and partners are dishing out abuse and violence.

“For too long domestic violence has been a hidden crime. It can no longer be excused or ignored. Carried out behind closed doors it has been considered by some as a private matter – but whether it is as a government, an individual, a friend or neighbour, we must not avert our eyes or do nothing to prevent it happening.

“It is time to work together to put in place all practicable measures to eliminate violence in the home and to ensure that the work already undertaken is making a real difference to the lives of the thousands of women and children who suffer dreadful treatment at the hands of an abusive partner or parent.”

During the visit the Minister praised the work of the Women’s Aid for providing a safe place for victims of domestic violence.

Junior Minister Kelly said: “We all know that domestic violence is no respecter of age, class, gender or race. It destroys families and lives and violates the most basic of human rights, and makes people fragile and vulnerable. It may have been difficult for some of you to talk about your experiences, but it has really helped me to understand your problems, and how Women’s Aid helps, so that I can contribute to ensuring effective interventions and positive results and give families reason for hope and a better future."

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