The Onus is on all of us

Cutting the cake at 2019 Onus Annual Awards
L-R; Jackie Patton (Onus Chairperson); Cllr Peter McReynolds (Belfast City Council Deputy Lord Mayor); Colette Stewart (Onus Chief Executive.

Everyone has a role to play in stopping domestic abuse – that was the message shared at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 19th November 2019, at the Onus 10th Annual Awards Ceremony of the Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence. The event was celebrating partnership working and recognising businesses, churches, community groups and schools playing their part to support anyone living with domestic abuse.

Onus 10th Annual Awards Ceremony

Now celebrating its 10th year, over 1400 organisations across Northern Ireland have now participated in one of a number of ‘Pathways’ initiatives, designed to empower organisations to recognise and respond to domestic abuse right across the community.  

From businesses with only a few members of staff through to organisations with thousands of staff, including PSNI, NHSCT, Councils and MOD, the event was hosted this year by Belfast City Council who have joined with Onus to become a Safe Place Partner. 

Belfast City Council is a Safe Place Partner

Since beginning working with Onus in 2014, Belfast City Council have developed policy and undertaken training to provide support for employees if they experience domestic abuse.  The Council, along with 10 other Platinum Workplace Charter awardees, have adopted the Safe Place ethos as their own, and are now extending this message beyond the workplace, throughout the community and encouraging other businesses to recognise the value of investing in an initiative that could protect their staff.

Over 1400 organisations participate in “Pathway” Initiatives

Colette Stewart, Chief Executive of Onus, said at the event:

‘Our Awards evolve every year, as organisations continue to build upon previous commitments and demonstrate how more can always be done.  This year, we are delighted to be celebrating over 1400 organisations across Northern Ireland currently participating in one of a number of “Pathway” Initiatives. 

A number of awards were presented across the various Pathways for Participation including 11 Platinum renewal awards and 2 renewal Safe Borough Awards, in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.  We have been working with these organisations for some years now, with further plans to do so, and it really is heartening to see the commitment of the Council in working with us towards a society with zero tolerance for domestic abuse’.

Playing your part

Domestic Violence, the onus is on all of us and to find our how you can play your part through our various Pathways for Participation please visit for further information or contact us on 028 2568 9450.

Anyone dealing with domestic violence can access support by calling the Free phone 24hr Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.  Open to all women and men affected by domestic and sexual violence. 

Safe Place resources also provide contact information for PSNI, The Rowan and Childline.