NI: Free public transport made available to people fleeing domestic abuse
Free public transport will be available from today for people fleeing domestic abuse, ministers have announced.
The measure was first floated in May by Justice Minister Naomi Long and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon after a similar free rail travel scheme was unveiled in England and Wales.
The ministers have now announced that free public transport will be available to victims in cases where refuge or emergency accommodation has been arranged in advance.
Ms Long said: “This scheme means that victims of domestic abuse, going to pre-arranged emergency accommodation, will not have to worry about the associated travel cost.
“We have been able to secure this through cross government partnership working and by collaborating with our partners in the voluntary and community sector. Through this, we can offer support to men, women and children, who through no fault of their own find themselves in a difficult and potentially dangerous situation.
“We know that leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the most dangerous times for individuals. Where possible we would encourage all affected by domestic abuse to contact support organisations, or the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline, to seek help and support. In an emergency always contact the police.”