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The Seventies


Squatting at 24 Pump Street

September 1976 – The Derry Women’s Action Group took over an empty building on Pump Street, as part of their ‘Operation Desperation’ to highlight lack of accommodation for battered wives, unmarried mothers, alcoholic women and homeless teenagers in Derry.

Read the Derry Journal Article from 21st September 1976




Tenancy Legalised

November 1978 – Tenancy for the building was legalised, £50,000 was given for reconstruction and the group was then affiliated with the Women’s Aid Federation which was established in Northern Ireland in the same year.

Women Protest Outside Derry Courthouse

Women protest outside Derry courthouse about the removal of the women only waiting room.


Domestic Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1980

Domestic proceedings order was extended to Northern Ireland, enabling women to be protected by law in domestic violence cases.


Refurbishment of 24 Pump Street

1986 – 24 Pump Street had some refurbishment after fire damage

Police Response To Wife Assault – A Northern Ireland Study.

October 1986 – NI Women’s Aid Federation published research on family violence. This was carried out by Pamela Montgomery & Viv Bell.


NIHE Introduce The Homeless Person’s (NI) Order

NIHE introduce the Homeless Person’s (NI) Order and they include women breaking away from violent partners into the Homeless Person’s Order, so that they would be considered homeless and given priority in re-housing.


Rape Within Marriage Now Recognised As Crime

October 1991 – Rape within marriage now recognised as a crime within the court of law.

Read the Rape Within Marriage Law 1991 Document

Introduction of Police guidelines on domestic violence.


New Purpose-built Refuge Complete

March 1992 – New Purpose-built Refuge Completed on Foyle Road, Derry.

Read the Derry Journal Article From 27th March 1992

Domestic Violence in NI: Inter-agency Approach Vital

1992/1993 – An important piece of research commissioned by DHSS looked at domestic violence in NI, conducted by Monica McWilliams & Joan McKiernan, emphasising the importance of an inter-agency approach to improve quality and consistency of support. Titled ‘Bringing It Out In The Open, Domestic Violence in Northern Ireland’ the findings of this research were published in January 1993