UK news Domestic abuse: why it’s never too late to get help last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Domestic abuse is something which has no boundaries, with women (and children and a smaller percentage of men) of all ages often suffering in silence at the hands of someone they live with.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Domestic abuse is something which has no boundaries, with women (and children and a smaller percentage of men) of all ages often suffering in silence at the hands of someone they live with. It is a complex, multi-layered issue, and some people may feel unable to talk about what is happening to them.Younger women with children often seek help sooner as they might be concerned about their child’s welfare, but some older women may feel that they have put up with abuse for so long that there is no point in trying to change things.Women’s Aid ABCLN and Spark Opera have collaborated to launch a curated exhibition, named It’s Never too Late, to highlight the experience of older women who have been affected by domestic abuse.Opening on June 30 at the Junction Retail and Leisure Park, the exhibition will include several different artforms, including both visual and written arts as well as dance.Kate Guelke of Spark Opera has been facilitating workshops and producing to “realise the vision of the participants”.She says the exhibition is important on so many levels.“The project is for women in the ‘older but no safer’ cohort of Women’s Aid, and thanks to the support of the Arts Council’s Arts and Older People Programme, we were able to focus on this group and spend time with the participants, working as their production company,” she adds.“I believe it is incredibly important that everyone has access to the arts, and for these participants, anonymity and agency is crucial.“We wanted to pilot a model where the participants drove the project forward and artists acted as facilitators, assisting to realise the work.“The results of this really speak for themselves, with a hugely diverse and original range of pieces.“This is a portfolio which features photography, dance, sculpture, text work and plant life. I’m so proud of what’s been achieved as the work is incredible.”Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts and Older People Programme, with funding from the National Lottery, the Public Health Agency and the Baring Foundation, the exhibition aims to raise awareness about domestic abuse and provide greater protection for women aged 55 and over.“Women’s Aid ABCLN has a long track record of working with the creative arts community in Northern Ireland to raise awareness about domestic abuse,” explains Bronagh O’Boyle, a reconnect worker with the charity.“We are delighted to be partnering with Spark Opera to deliver ‘It’s Never Too Late’, a project that uses the arts to help older women who have experienced domestic abuse.“We want them to know it’s never too late to get help.“And it has enabled older women affected by domestic abuse to use the arts to tell their stories in a safe, supportive and inspiring environment.“From dance to craft, visual arts and writing, women are using an arts-based approach towards healing and connection with one another.”One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and in Northern Ireland 31,196 domestic abuse incidents were recorded by the PSNI during 2020/21.“On average, the PSNI respond to one incident every 17 minutes,” says O’Boyle. “For every incident of domestic abuse, we know the impact on women and children living with violence and abuse can be devastating.“Thirteen women have been murdered with a domestic abuse motivation in Northern Ireland since lockdown began.“Women’s Aid ABCLN provides confidential support, information and emergency accommodation for women and children who are affected by domestic abuse across Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey.“We offer one-to-one support and practical assistance for women in refuge and in the community, and we provide specialised services and support for children and young people.
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.“We believe that no one should have to live in fear or threat from abuse.“We listen to what women tell us, and their voices and lived experience informs all aspects of our work.”Having their concerns heard and seen by others is what this new project is all about, and Kate Guelke, artistic director of Spark, the community opera company, says the exhibition will appeal to anyone who is interested in art.“The pieces stand by themselves. For example, a 10ft dying tree is covered in barbed wire and nails but glistens with earrings. It’s dead inside, but is ‘necessarily’ accessorised,” she adds.“In another, a serene sea view is interrupted by a bin, tainting the scene and [a further piece shows] a dancer controlled from the inside, her every movement dictated by a negative introject.“Another shows two identical plants, indicating the effects of nurturing kindness and cruel neglect. And years of X-rayed diary entries reveal normalised abuse, which is part of the pattern of daily life.“These are pieces which explore the experiences with unerring honesty. Self-image distorted by coercive control and gaslighting is a shared theme.“The artists chose the title for their group exhibit accordingly — it’s called ‘Through a glass darkly’.”Bronagh O’Boyle, who facilitates groups to improve confidence, develop self-esteem and reduce isolation for women who have been affected by domestic abuse, says Women’s Aid ABCLN is “working towards a society where domestic abuse will not be tolerated and women and children can live free from the threat of violence”.“Together, we are working to end domestic abuse,” she adds. “The groups [she facilitates] provide an opportunity for women who have been affected by domestic abuse to share their voices and lived experience and be a part of creative projects (such as It’s Never Too Late).“The Arts and Older People Programme supports arts organisations across the region in delivering a series of community-based arts projects benefiting older people.“It aims to tackle isolation and loneliness whilst promoting positive mental health and wellbeing among older people through engagement with the arts, and it is designed to challenge the perceptions of what it means to be an older person.“Many older women may have been living with domestic abuse all their adult lives, in silence and invisible, or it can start in later years, so an increased understanding and awareness about domestic abuse can provide much-needed protection for them.“We welcome the opportunity to work with Spark Opera to raise awareness about domestic abuse affecting older women, and equip communities to recognise and respond to the issues faced.“Older women tell us that they may be older but they are no safer, and through this project we want them to know it’s never too late to get help. So, come along and join us for the exhibition launch on Thursday, June 30 from 10.30am – 12.30pm at the Junction Retail and Leisure Park in Antrim to find out more.”"
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