NI Abuse project gets lottery money

More than 32,000 children in NI live with domestic abuse and a local support group has been awarded lottery money to try and help some of them.

Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid (BLWA) works with social workers to offer a range of services for children and their mothers that will reduce the threat of violence.

It has received a grant of £900,000.

BLWA aims to set up a specialist team which will focus on early intervention and prevention.

From April 2010 to March 2011, police statistics showed there were 23,000 incidents and more than 9,000 recorded crimes with a domestic motivation.

“Domestic violence has a significant effect on the health and well-being of children and their mothers, resulting in serious physical injury and emotional harm and death,” said Patricia Lyness from BLWA.

“It is a crime that remains largely unreported and difficult to talk about and get help because it is shrouded in fear shame and blame.

“Women’s Aid and Social Services have a strong history of working together, and this innovative approach with social workers and a health visitor means that children and their mothers can access our services much quicker.

“Early intervention can reduce repeat incidents of violence and referrals to social workers, show women and their children they are not to blame, and support them to prevent family breakdown that can result in children being removed from the home.”