Tag Archives: 10th December

Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s Statement for the 10th December

“Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

… But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable.  That is our identity and our mission.”

For information about Human Rights Day, the 2009 Human Rights Day theme “Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination”, or the UN, visit www.un.org


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Day 16, final day of the 16 Days of Action Campaign!

Today is Day 16 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign, Human Rights Day,  and here are some of the events taking place:

Women’s Aid Events:

  • 16 Facts for 16 Days email campaign (email 16days@womensaid.ie or phone 01-8684721 to sign up)
  • 16 Books for 16 Days in Chapters
  • Women’s Aid Public Awareness Campaign
  • Women’s Aid Online Advertising Campaign
  • Women’s Aid ‘Support a Friend’ Phone Charm Campaign

Events Around Ireland:

  • Near 90 FM’s “A Woman’s Voice” Broadcast
  • Violence Against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition continues in Waterford
  • Displays at various venues around Mayo
  • Human Rights in Ireland continue their 16 Days Campaign daily blog
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford, and also in the Mid-West
  • Information Stands are placed around Sligo and Leitrim
  • Aoibhneas Refuge urges all of us to “Step Out of the Shadows”
  • Clare Women’s Network is running a powerful daily poster campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Network is running a daily fact campaign
  • Donegal has a poetry and art display
  • The final Art Workshop of the series will take place in Kildare
  • The final Wellness Workshop of the series will also take place in Kildare
  • Tipperary hosts Human Rights Based Training

Cyber Events:

  • Take Back the Tech continue their fabulous campaign with daily actions that are available to everyone! (www.takebackthetech.net)

International Events:

  • Kenya North Rift Women Voices training events in Kenya
  • FemLINKpacific Community Radio Broadcasts in the Figi Islands

There are also lots of messages of support for the Campaign from a variety of important Irish people and organisations, and from some international organisations, explaining why the 16 Days Campaign is so important to each of them. Use these events and campaigns to get involved yourself, and share the information with your friends and family!

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Sinead Desmond, Presenter, Ireland AM, TV3, supports the 16 Days Campaign

Domestic abuse is something we are still afraid to talk about in Ireland. But Women’s Aid is changing that. Their helpline offers real support and the chance to leave behind a life of violent abuse to women who feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Thanks to Women’s Aid, women who are victims of domestic abuse can become survivors of domestic abuse. Whether it be physical or mental or both, whether there are children involved or not.

Domestic abuse is completely and totally unacceptable. No Irish woman should feel they have to remain in a relationship in which they are being abused.

Every year thousands of women pick up the phone and call Women’s Aid and receive the advice, support and knowledge to enable them to start a new life free from the abuse that they have been subjected to.

Domestic abuse happens every day in Ireland, one in five of us will at some stage of our lives be a victim of it. Yet because of the nature of the abuse the average woman will be hit or beaten 35 times before she seeks help; this is not a reflection on the women. Domestic violence is only the fault of the perpetrator, nobody but the men who choose to beat, rape and abuse their wives, girlfriends and partners are to blame for the brutality experienced in one in five Irish homes.

And the fact that women will remain in violent relationships for often long periods of time is due to the all consuming and very real fear that victims live in. Many women are convinced that they will be killed if they even try to leave. Many do not get the chance to leave. Of the 159 female murders in Ireland over the last 13 years over half of the resolved cases were committed by a current or former partner. Every year Irish men subject Irish women to the most awful abuse, and if it were not for organisations like Women’s Aid these women would have nowhere to turn. Thankfully because Women’s Aid reaches out to them they do.

Many of us have seen women struggle to escape domestic abuse and for those of you who have not you may not realise it but chances are you already know someone who is a victim of abuse. It might be one of your friends, a family member or a work colleague. So domestic abuse is an issue for all women, not just those living in fear, which is why I wholeheartedly support the Women’s Aid 16 Days of Action Campaign.

It is time for us to talk about what goes on behind closed doors and to put an end to the abuse. No women should ever have to suffer domestic abuse. But there is life after an abusive relationship, and Women’s Aid helps women to make that journey. If you or someone you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse phone the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 7 Days a week 10am – 10pm. You can make it all end now, just pick up the phone.

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Guest blog from Caroline at Pavee Point

Tessa Collins and Caroline Mullen from Pavee Point VAW Programme are proud to be part of this campaign and would like to update you on our activities over the last 10 days.

We continue to disseminate the 16 days campaign facts daily to our friends and colleagues to ensure that the information is getting out there.  As we mentioned in our opening blog, we would be participating in the events for Traveller Focus Week (TFW) which started on 30th November including a celebration of Pavee Point’s 25th Anniversary. Where possible we linked TFW activities and 16 days of action activities to focus on the issues of VAW and to highlight the barriers facing Traveller women who may want to leave a violent relationship. In their daily lives, Traveller women experience triple discrimination; as women, as Traveller women, and as members of the Traveller community. The layer on top of that for a Traveller women who wants to leave a violent relationship, is the added burden of leaving her extended family, friends and culture behind. The weight of making that decision can never be underestimated. Pavee Point Travellers Centre, in consultation with AKIDWA and the NCCRI produced an information brochure in 2005 which is still relevant today, and a useful resource for understanding some of the issues. It is available on our website www.paveepoint.ie and is entitled “Challenging the misconceptions of violence against minority ethnic women, including Travellers, in Ireland: An information brochure for service providers”.

And so to the campaign – some of our activities included:

Day 1 Began for us with a coffee morning in Pavee Point where we invited members of the Roma community (men and women), some women from AKIDWA, the women of the Primary Health Care for Traveller Project, and all staff from Pavee Point for a coffee and a great pampering session from the Body Shop (free of charge). It was a relaxing morning which gave the groups space to meet and get to know each other better. There were about 60 people present on the day and we hope we can build on these relationships to work together on the issues of VAW in 2010. The sharing between the African women and the Traveller women on the day was particularly striking. We have also committed to working with the Roma group in 2010 on VAW issues. The serious part of the morning was to highlight the campaign – Breaking the Silence 16 days opposing Violence Against women. We tied a line of red bows for the 159 women who died violently in Ireland since 1996, lit a candle and held a minute’s silence to remember them.  Thanks to all participated and to those who generously donated “time and things” to make the day successful – unfortunately they are too numerous to mention here.

Day 8 We were delighted to participate in an information session with staff from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre during TFW, to discuss some of the issues and barriers that stop Traveller women from using helpline services. It was a productive meeting and we hope to continue to build on this relationship and involve Traveller PHC projects in the new year. 

We also attended the “Key to Breaking the Silence” event organised by the North Inner City Action Group in Mountjoy Square to remember the 159 women who died since 1996. It was a very moving tribute and we stood for them in the driving rain, which made it all the more poignant.

Day 9 The Pavee Point VAW programme continued to keep a focus on the 16 days campaign throughout TFW. We believe that our small contributions have been useful in continuing to “break the silence” within the Traveller community on VAW. For example when we attended the “Pavee Point Anniversary Seminar – Revisiting the Status of Travellers in Irish Society 25 Years On”, we took the opportunity to make and distribute lilac ribbons on the day to highlight the Freedom From Pornography campaign. 

Day 13 We also attended the one day conference and launch of “Rape and Justice in Ireland A national Study of Survivor, Prosecutor and Court Responses to Rape” by Conor Hanly, with Dr. Deirdre Healy and Stacey Scriver. This conference and book launch commissioned by RCNI is important because it increases our knowledge on what is happening in Ireland today in relation to rape and justice.

Tessa Collins has also recorded a 10 min slot for Near FM 16 days campaign to highlight some of the issues relating to VAW for Traveller women.

We feel hopeful that in 2010 we will be able to raise the issue more and continue to “break the silence” throughout the year. Pavee Point Drugs Specific Initiative, Bray Travellers CDP, Daish and Bray Local Drugs task Force launched “Pavees Whiden Drug misuse within the Traveller Community” yesterday. It is tough, honest, and produced to aid discussion, address some of the problems, and educate Travellers and Traveller organisations around the country on this serious issue that is destroying lives. This DVD is a huge step in breaking the silence on the difficult issue of drug misuse in the Traveller community. The Traveller community is demonstrating its desire to deal with tough issues such as drugs and internal conflict – VAW is another of these tough issues.

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Remembering Women Murdered in Ireland, Mayo

Ballina Family Resource Centre are taking part in the 16 Days of Action Campaign and have 159 pink tombstones on display in their centre to remember all of the women murdered in Ireland since 1996.  They also have a candle and lillies display  in their window and are displaying the Women’s Aid 16 Facts for 16 Days during the campaign.

They will mark the end of the campaign by holding a coffee morning in the centre on 10th December to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence.

For more information contact Sheenagh Honan on 096-75573 or by email ballinafrcadmin@eircom.net.

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Art Workshops

 Newbridge Family Resource Centre will host a series of three Art Workshops in conjunction with Artist Lorraine Walsh; exploring issues around domestic violence, the workshop will also look at empowerment or overcoming obstacles to empowerment for women. This piece will then be displayed in the Riverbank Arts Centre, on the closing day of the ‘16 days’ which is the 10th of December and Human Rights Day.

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Wellness Workshops

There will be a series of ‘wellness workshops’ at different Centres (The Curragh Pride FRC, Newbridge FRC and Allenwood CDP). These will look at stress relief, relaxation and positive visualisation for women. These sessions also provide an opportunity to raise awareness, provide information and offer support.

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