NI minister aiming to raise domestic violence awareness

Awareness of domestic violence in Northern Ireland must continue to be raised, according to one political figure.

Caitriona Ruane, the country's education minister, believes it is vital attitudes to violence committed against women and young people change.

Speaking after a recent meeting with the voluntary organisation Women's Aid, Ms Ruane stressed the importance of building healthy relationships, with good behaviour promoted from an early age.

She said: "For too long domestic violence was not spoken about openly. That attitude is changing and it is important that our children and young people become aware as early as possible in their lives that violence against women and children is totally unacceptable."

The minister met with Women's Aid to discuss how more funding could be pledged to help promote healthy relationships to children.

Meanwhile, the UK government has also announced it is to focus on new measures which could help support victims of domestic violence more in future.

Lenore Rice, Head of the Family law department at Wilson Nesbitt solicitors, added: "Domestic violence can include physical abuse, sexual assault and verbal threats. It can also include more subtle attacks, such as constant breaking of trust, isolation, psychological games and harassment.

"It can affect partners in all types of relationships and can also involve violence between parents and children. Men have exactly the same rights as women to be safe in their own homes and are entitled to the same help. Victims can seek protection under the Family legislation and should see a solicitor immediately."
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