Victoria Smurfit Opens Exhibition to Raise Awareness of Violence Against Women

23 Nov 2010

  • Actress Supports the 365 International Poster Exhibition Highlighting Violence against Women
  • Women's Aid brings renowned Public Awareness Display to Dublin.

Actress Victoria Smurfit, today November 24th 2010 at 6.30pm, officially opened a unique Exhibition of Public Awareness Posters from Ireland and around the globe in the Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7. The exhibition is being run by Women's Aid to raise awareness of the One in Five women who are experiencing domestic violence.

Speaking at the event, Margaret Martin, Director of Women's Aid said: "On the Eve of Un Day Opposing Violence Against Women (November 25th), Women's Aid is delighted that Victoria is here to open this exhibition which features over 400 public awareness posters from around the globe. The support of such a high profile and successful movie, television and theatre star, helps us raise awareness and focus attention on this very important issue."

Ms Martin added, "One in three women face violence worldwide, and Ireland is no exception. In Ireland, one in every five women living in Ireland today is living in fear of those closest to them - their boyfriends, husbands and partners. Domestic violence can happen to any woman and in any home."

Ms Martin concluded, "This exhibition of public awareness posters from Ireland and around the world highlights the stark reality of violence against women. More importantly, it also highlights the vital support that's available to women and the positive ways communities work together to address violence against women.

This exhibition gives us a chance to show women who are living with abuse that they are not alone and that support is available through services like the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline.
The launch is supported by the Avon Speaking Out against Domestic Violence Programme. This global programme encourages women to 'break the silence' that surrounds domestic violence by confiding in friends and family and seeking help from organisations such as Women's Aid.

The Women's Aid One in Five Women 16 Days of Action campaign runs from 25th November to 10th December. Women's Aid and groups nationwide are highlighting violence against women during the campaign. As part of the campaign, Women's Aid is leading a National Balloon Release on November 25th including an online balloon release. Details of events can be found at www.womensaid.ie/16daysblog

Ends

For more information contact Christina or Laura on 087-9192457 or 01-8684721.

Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900
Open 10am to 10pm, 7 Days.

Notes to editors/producers:

  • Women's Aid is a leading national organisation, which provides support and information to women experiencing domestic violence. Women's Aid operates a National Freephone Helpline Service and a Dublin based One to One Support Service and Court Accompaniment Service. Women's Aid also refers to local refuges and support services around the country.
  • The Violence against Women 365 International Poster Exhibition consists of over 400 public awareness posters from around the world which address the global issue of violence against women. The display has been used by groups around the world as an educational tool and public awareness initiative. The posters in the exhibition focus on a wide range of issues from domestic violence to sex trafficking, and community responses.
  • Thursday 25th November, UN Day Opposing Violence against Women, is the first day of the International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence against Women campaign, which ends of 10th December (International Human Rights Day). The campaign is now in its 20th year.
  • The 16 Days Campaign is endorsed by Concern, World Vision Ireland, actress Victoria Smurfit, Avon Speak Out against Domestic Violence Programme, Sonya Lennon, Clare Kambamettu, Rose of Tralee, Dr. Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Tracey Piggot, RTE, Jenny Kelly of Today FM, and Senator Ivana Bacik, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD, and Trocaire.
  • Research by Women's Aid shows that 1 in 5 women in Ireland are affected by domestic violence.
  • It is estimated that 213,000 Irish women suffer severe abuse.
  • 166 women have been murdered in Ireland since 1996. In 51% of the resolved cases, the woman was murdered by their partner or ex-partner
  • There were 14,613 incidents of domestic violence disclosed in 2009. There were 8,629 incidents of emotional abuse disclosed, 3,479 incidents of physical abuse, and 1,679 incidents of financial abuse. 826 incidents of sexual abuse, which is traditionally not disclosed by women experiencing domestic violence, were recorded, with 335 rapes within relationships being reported to the service.
  • The Women's Aid National Balloon Action is part of the 'One in Five Women' National Campaign organised by Women's Aid. You can also participate online. For more information on the campaign go to www.womensaid.ie.