Father O’Hagan of ‘The Priests’ is calling on local churches to support White Ribbon Sunday
The Priests, Father Eugene O’Hagan is calling on local churches to support White Ribbon Sunday with a video highlighting the global campaign to raise awareness about domestic abuse.
Father Eugene O’Hagan of classical singing ensemble, The Priests says:“Women’s Aid ABCLN has asked me to deliver this message by video on White Ribbon Sunday, 29th November to raise awareness of the worldwide problem of violence against women.
“The White Ribbon campaign is a global movement to end male violence against women. It was formed in 1991 by a group of men in Canada to send out the message that male violence against women in all its forms is unacceptable. Its message is simple - by wearing the White Ribbon you are making the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.”
Fr O Hagan says: “Domestic abuse is not confined to a small section of our community. Victims and perpetrators come from all walks of life, and no religious denomination is exempt. The code of silence which lets this issue continue, which to this day goes unchallenged, must stop now.
“We know that one in four women are affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime and having this knowledge means staying silent is not an option. The aim of this campaign is to bring this issue to the light. We need your help.
“We need local churches to stand with us and help create a society where all women can live in safety, free from violence and abuse.”
White Ribbon Co-ordinator Tahnee McCorry commented: “We want to thank Father Eugene for his support in creating this video for White Ribbon Sunday Day. Churches can show the video to congregations during their on-line service and share it on social media, or ministers can simply read out the White Ribbon message.”
Father O’Hagan concluded: ”Many victims of domestic abuse sit in church pews every Sunday. You know them but you may not know what they are living with. Restrictions aimed to stop the spread of Coronavirus mean victims of domestic abuse are more at risk than ever. They are isolated in their homes with their perpetrators.
“There have been five domestic homicides and eight thousand domestic abuse incidents reported to the police in Northern Ireland since the Covid-19 lockdown began. This is only the tip of the iceberg as many incidents will have gone unreported through fear of further harm.”
He added: “It is to all victims of domestic violence and abuse that feel they are alone and are too frightened to speak out that we want to reach out to today. We must let them know they are not alone. Help and support is available. What will you do as a congregation to support the White Ribbon campaign and what can you do as an individual? We believe that everyone can, and should - do something.”