My Story…Grown Old

16 June, 2016

 Press Release 

Thursday 16th June 2016
For immediate release
My Story…Grown Old
The 15th June marked World Elder Abuse Day. It is the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations. 
The global populations of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Around 4 to 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of abuse at home. Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. 
Women’s Aid is the lead agency offering support and refuge services to women who have or are currently experiencing domestic violence.  Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of social class, ethnicity, religion and age. Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey raised awareness of the issue that older people in our community also experience domestic violence through a special event held in Ballyearl Arts Centre on 15th June.
A group of service users have written a series of poems detailing their experiences of domestic violence and how it made them feel at different stages in their lives. They worked in partnership with The Ulster Orchestra to compose music to accompany the poems.  One service user said “It has been a privilege to work with some of the great talent which makes the Ulster orchestra and also with fellow survivors of domestic violence. I have looked forward to our sessions where our voices and opinions have been valued in the decision making process, which will ultimately enable many voices to be heard, raising awareness of domestic abuse. Whilst the subject matter has been difficult, the experience has been enjoyable and rewarding and I would like to thank all those involved.”
 The poems were performed live, through speech, rap and song alongside The Ulster Orchestra at the event. Speakers at the event included Superintendent Emma Bond, Commander in charge of Antrim and Newtownabbey District Command Unit and Anne McAllister from the N. Ireland Association of Social Workers.
This is the third collaborative project between Women’s Aid ABCLN and The Ulster Orchestra which has been made possible by the support of Japan Tobacco International (JTI).  Ruth Forbes, JTI’s Community Investment Manager spoke at the event to congratulate those involved in the project. 
 Rosemary Magill, CEO from Women’s Aid ABCLN said:
“The women thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it is rewarding for them to get their voice heard. Although the subject holds very personal and difficult memories for them they were very passionate about raising awareness and encouraging other victims to speak out and seek help.”
For more information on Women’s Aid, visit
Notes for editors
Support can be accessed by calling The Naomi Centre on 02825 632136 or the 24hr Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414 (Open to all women and men affected by domestic and sexual violence). Alternatively read about our services by visiting