SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has completed a swimathon to support Women’s Aid.
Ms Hunter swam 14 miles in 14 days (22,530m) to raise awareness and much needed funds for the charity which supports women experiencing domestic abuse.
The swimathon finished on Sunday. Over £3,000 in donations has been received so far.
SDLP East Derry MLA Ms Hunter said:
“I have been overwhelmed by the reaction and support I have received throughout my swimathon. I have been heartened by the response from people right across the North and further afield, together we have helped shine a spotlight on a really important issue and raised over £3,000 to help support Women’s Aid in their life-saving work.
“The murder of Ashling Murphy last week was a terrible reminder of the dangers women face on a daily basis in our society. It is completely unacceptable that many women face risk and danger when simply going about their lives. Domestic abuse is part of a wider issue of violence against women and girls and if we are to truly deal with this scourge then we need to start having difficult conversations and challenging the misogynistic attitudes that are still all too prevalent across these islands.
“Women’s Aid and other support groups that help women and girls do amazing work. Whether it’s through their important training programmes teaching young people about healthy relationships and how to recognise emotional abuse or providing refuge, their tireless volunteers make a real impact on people’s lives. Without their help and support many women would be trapped in toxic or dangerous relationships and feel powerless to escape.
“However, it’s shameful that groups like this need to exist in the first place. At the height of the pandemic we saw incidents of domestic violence and abuse reach a 15-year high, at Christmas the PSNI saw a large increase in domestic abuse calls. Violence and abuse is a daily reality for far too many women across the North and we need to see a joined-up approach right across society, involving our statutory bodies and civic groups, and everyone from our education system to the Executive and the PSNI to challenge the issues raised in recent weeks and make our island a safer place to live for everyone.”
Ms Hunter’s gofundme can be viewed here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/womens-aid-ni-fundraiser?member=16388953&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer