Fermanagh and Omagh PCSP seminar highlights complexities facing rural victims

20th June 2018

Fermanagh and Omagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership in partnership with the Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership recently hosted a seminar in Fermanagh House, Enniskillen to highlight the complexities support agencies face when working with rural victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Invited delegates from a range of professions and backgrounds heard June’s story. A victim of domestic and sexual violence, June faced many challenges in seeking help to leave an abusive relationship. Her remote rural location was a significant factor influencing the help seeking process and access to the support available.

Representatives from various agencies such as the PSNI, Fermanagh Women’s Aid, NEXUS, Omagh Women’s Aid, WHSCT and Men’s Action Network outlined the various avenues of support available to June and her family. Each organisation highlighted the issues encountered when dealing with a victim from a rural area including transport links, poor communications networks and rural cultural ties.

Councillor John Coyle, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said

“This seminar is one of series of initiatives that the Partnership is delivering in collaboration with the Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence across the district. The PCSP is delighted with the response to the event and the ideas generated for future work. Coming from a rural area I fully appreciate the complexities for victims accessing supports and services in a timely manner at a time when they are at their most vulnerable and look forward to the PCSP delivering future initiatives with the Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership”.

Suzanne McMahon, Chairperson of the Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership, said

“The Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership are delighted to join with the PCSP to shine a light on this very important issue. Delivering services in an area of high rurality raises a number of challenges for all agencies. This event provides an opportunity for us to work through the challenges to explore the services currently available and to identify any particular gaps. It also raises awareness about and knowledge of the services available across agencies to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence.”

For further information on Fermanagh and Omagh PCSP, please contact Fermanagh and Omagh District Council by telephone on 0300 303 1777 (all calls charged at local rate) or by textphone on 028 8225 6216.