The local Soroptimists Branch as part of worldwide organisation collaborated with the united nations in an international campaign to highlight domestic violence against women and girls.
Change will only come about by raising public awareness on violence against women and girls. With their recent Orange the World campaign which spread over 16 days from late November to December 10 members of the club safely gathered at Marina Rd placing a banner to raise awareness and end gender-based violence.
The colour orange was chosen to catch the eye of those passing by while it also symbolises a brighter future without violence. It shows solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence. To raise awareness a banner was placed on Marina Road by Former National President of Soroptimists International Maria Finnegan and Ballinasloe Soroptimist member Mary Courtney.
Myrnne Kelly current President “One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence worldwide. I believe our role is to focus on prevention through education. Equality starting in the home, our schools and the workplace. We as a group need to need to continue to strive to raise awareness and work to improve services for the survivors of violence in any situation”.
They also produced a video with Detective Inspector Inspector Declan Rock States which highlighted that from January 1, 2020, to November 30, 2020, the local Gardai had 10 prosecutions for victims of domestic violence. Worryingly In 2020 - 109 reports of domestic violence in Ballinasloe represent a 28% from the year before.
The video was aired on the LIFE fbook page and had a huge 4,000 reach and was viewed by nearly 1000 folks.
Soroptimist Ballinasloe and nationally are calling on the government to plan a new national strategy based on the startling facts that are being presented and collected by the Garda, and other .
Throughout the ORANGE campaign, the wish through working together to improve the services available to survivors of domestic violence. Spreading awareness on domestic violence and protecting those who are vulnerable explaining how to report domestic violence and to encourage those who are affected to call to the local garda station should they wish to speak in privacy were all key aspects to the campaign. They urge those who are experiencing Domestic violence to not sit there in silence but to reach out to various groups and agencies.
During Covid-19 the social diary of the Soroptimists had to be planned very carefully with 25-year anniversary celebrations that was to be marked by a town wide tree planting being cancelled. A planned Gala Charity Concert fell by the wayside also. For celebrations instead a Covid-19 friendly afternoon tea party was held.
Earlier in the year the Soroptimists had an environmental protection project given Climate Ambassador status by An Taisce. A partnership with the National Women’s Council has enabled them to progress on their advocacy for rural women particularly in relation to public transport.
Their National Public Speaking competition for secondary school girls was successfully managed once again by Kathleen Croffy, as one of the group’s aims focuses on a commitment to developing leadership in girls. A bursary was provided to support girls starting 3rd Level Education was greatly appreciated by recipients in Ard Scoil Mhuire.
The group continues to support girls who are interested in progressing opportunities in their chosen areas and those seeking to join are more than welcome. Get in touch via Siballinasloe21@gmail.com
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