The authoritarian, moralistic worldview of the DUP is not made for real life and so real people are leaving it, and them, behind…

In the last 24 hours, I’ve been asked for my thoughts on the possibility that changes in the DUP signal a ‘lurch to the right’, as someone engaged in the campaign for reproductive rights. There is no doubt that the idea of the most socially conservative Christian fundamentalists taking a firmer grip of the wheel of the largest party in the north is concerning to anyone who believes in human rights, equality and social justice. Their reputation on issues that …

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Northern Ireland’s Mental Health Crisis

We’re in a mental health crisis. It certainly feels like that when five people died by suicide during the Christmas period and mental illness continues to claim the lives of people we love in 2020. There is much to struggle with in these recent deaths. An 11 year old child. Parents of young children. For anyone who hasn’t experienced mental and emotional pain so deep and chronic that it disorders your thinking and twists your reality, such events are utterly …

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Máiría Cahill, and violence against women after the Agreement

Máiría Cahill is a survivor, and we believe her. The recent publicity around her case is a timely reminder of the importance of stepping outside of party political agendas, wherever abuse occurs, and to offer our support to survivors of all political stripes. In recent years our understanding of violence against women, such as sexual abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV), has expanded to include the concept of coercive control. Legislation that reflects this key dynamic in these abusive circumstances …

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Processions Belfast – Pro-Choice Groups Bring Political Energy to a Commemorative Art Project

As the participants for the Belfast event of the UK-wide art project Processions gathered at Titanic Slipway yesterday, it was clear that something exciting was happening. Thousands of women were mingling, hugging, photographing each other’s banners, even dancing a little in an atmosphere of celebration and fun. Processions is a living sculpture artwork, that celebrated one hundred years of votes for women. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the first British women the right to vote and …

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The Criminal Justice System and Lessons from the Belfast Rape Trial

The issues around the recent Belfast rape case have been well rehearsed; the unavoidable media saturation kept it well on the agenda of too many workplace coffee breaks and social media rants. This article will not rehash those conversations. Its purpose is to explore the challenge made to the criminal justice system by the activists who organised the rallies in its aftermath. The rally outside the court on the day after the judgement saw around 800 people attend in a …

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