Date: 08 Mar 2021
Belfast has been recognised for its continued commitment to create a ‘Safe City’ for anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
Local social enterprise Onus developed the Safe City accreditation to recognise cities that have taken a partnership approach to ensure that individuals who have experienced domestic abuse, can access the right support whenever it is needed.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey said he was proud of the role Belfast City Council had played.
He said: “Belfast City Council is committed to proactively supporting anyone experiencing domestic abuse and to challenging perpetrators. I very much welcome the Safe City accreditation as recognition of the work that has been undertaken to date, both within Council to support our own staff, and with our city partners to raise awareness around domestic abuse; and to ensure those in need of vital support services can access them.”
Onus, the Northern Ireland social enterprise behind the accreditation, defines a Safe City as one that promotes zero tolerance to domestic violence and abuse; recognises that anyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or cultural background can be affected; and provides an inclusive means of providing information on the range of organisations available to help those in need of support.
Alderman McCoubrey added: “Through the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships, Council continues to support a range of work linked to the Belfast Area Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Partnership. This has included running awareness raising sessions for Council staff and with local businesses, churches and community groups across the city, on recognising and responding to domestic abuse.
“As an Onus Safe City partner, Belfast City Council will continue to work with city and community partners to encourage everyone to endorse the safe places message of zero tolerance to domestic abuse; and sign up to the campaign to never commit, condone or stay silent about domestic abuse.”
Onus Chief Executive, Colette Stewart, said: “To attain and retain Safe City status, there must be a clear demonstration of a sustained approach to providing access to support for anyone affected by domestic violence and abuse.
“Through the work that Belfast City Council has undertaken internally, such as the ongoing review of their Domestic Violence and Abuse in the Workplace policy and awareness raising training, as well as signing the White Ribbon Charter to end men’s violence against women, and working with partners across the city, it has demonstrated their commitment to being a Safe City.”
For more information on Belfast’s ‘safe spaces’, visit www.onustraining.co.uk/belfast-city-council