Mallon: More must be done to make women feel safe

nichola mallon violence against women sexism misogyny

SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon has said more must be done to make women feel safe in the North.

The SDLP Infrastructure Minister described a recent poll that showed less than half of women feel safe walking the streets as a siren that cannot be ignored.

Recent statistics showed the North is the joint most dangerous place in Europe for women.

More women per capita were murdered in the North as a result of domestic violence than anywhere else in Europe, bar Romania. 

North Belfast MLA Ms Mallon said:

“The recent revelation in the LucidTalk poll that less than 50% of women in the North feel safe walking the streets of the city, town and village that they live in is shameful. That women cannot go for a walk in their local area without worrying or taking safety precautions is a disgrace and we need to have a serious discussion around what steps we must take to build a society where this is no longer the case.

“We have issues around men’s attitudes towards and treatment of woman and girls right across these islands – but the North in particular has a serious problem that needs to be addressed. We recently learned that, jointly with Romania, women are more likely to die in the North as a result of domestic violence than anywhere else in Europe. During the coronavirus pandemic we saw domestic violence and abuse reach a 15-year high in Northern Ireland. How many more lives have to be devastated, how many more women must die before we address this scourge within our communities. 

“The North is still without a strategy aimed at tackling domestic abuse and violence against women and girls, but after much delay from The Executive Office we are finally beginning to make progress. We cannot expect to undo the problems in our society overnight, but if we are ever going to create a society where women and girls feel safe and valued we need to start now. These last few weeks need to be a turning point, women are exhausted and disheartened. We can’t put up with much more.”

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