Meeting of Wednesday 5 February 2020
Speaker: Ms Edel Fox Topic Women’s Aid
The president welcomed Ms Fox, in attendance to receive a cheque from Oliver Loughran who had identified “Women’s Aid” as his nominated Charity for the proceeds of the raffle held at the Christmas Dinner. Edel thanked the club for its generosity and gave a most informative talk about the work of the charity in Omagh. Based in Holmview Terrace Women’s Aid provides a range of confidential services for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Domestic Violence is defined as “the intentional and persistent physical, emotional sexual or mental abuse of one person by another where they are, or have been, intimate partners or family members”. The services provided by Omagh Women’s Aid include places of refuge, court appearances, accommodation, community-based support and children’s and young people’s services. The statistics which Edel quoted both surprised and appalled club members. There are presently over 2000 children in the Child Protection Register in Northern Ireland. The PSNI receives reports of Domestic Violence incidents on average 70 times a day while the Women’s Aid Helpline took over 25,000 calls in 2017 -18. These, and other worrying statistics about the number of women and children living in refuge centres generated many questions about the underlying causes of Domestic Violence and ways to address an oft-hidden blight sadly pervasive in all walks of modern life.