Belfast Domestic & Sexual Violence Partnership

The request was partially successful.

Sally-Anne Burris

Dear Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland),

I write in relation to BHSCT’s role as a member of the Belfast Domestic & Sexual Violence Partnership (The Partnership). My understanding is that The Partnership’s aims are to work to improve services for all adults and children experiencing domestic & sexual violence and abuse.

Please advise me of the following:

Why is The Partnership based in a building that is a safe space strictly for women only?

Why is The Partnership’s Co-ordinator based in a building that is a safe space strictly for women only?

What risk management assessment has been conducted to determine the appropriateness of these arrangements?

How do BHSCT justify the decision to agree that responsibility for the day to day line management of The Partnership Co-ordinator should be supervised by Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn? (*1)

Who funds The Partnership’s Co-ordinator Role recruited by public advertisement in 2021?

How did members of The Partnership justify the direct sex discrimination criteria applied in relation to this Co-ordinator Role?

What advice have members of The Partnership requested or received from the Equality Commission NI in relation to recruitment and the application of genuine occupational requirements (GOQ’s)?

What role do the BHSCT play in recruitment for roles working on behalf of The Partnership?

Why have The Partnership not responded to my correspondence about this matter (sent in January, February and June 2022)? (*2 )

Are the BHSCT members of any of the other four Regional Domestic & Sexual Violence Partnerships?

Are the BHSCT aware of any similar examples of directly discriminatory practices that may impact on any of the Regional Partnership's ability to create inclusive, collaborative multi-agency partnership working environments best equipped to generate positive action to eliminate abuse experienced across all Section 75 Groups? If so how are they justified?


Please be advised of the following information that may assist to expedite this freedom of information request:

(*1) Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn's governing documents appear to indicate that their exclusive objective is to support women and their children maltreated by men.

(*2 ) In June 2022, Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn replied to my correspondence directly confirming that their offices are a women only space.

(3) The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland have advised me that they are unable to determine if the Partnership’s reliance on a genuine occupational qualification (“GOQ”) is justified (based on the job information available for the Partnership’s Co-Ordinator Role).

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Sally-Anne Burris

PublicLiaison-SM, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

Thank you for your email to Belfast Trust Public Liaison Service. Due to
the significant impact of the Coronavirus situation, Trust staff are
working to prioritise their duties as front line health and social care
workers and regrettably there may be a delay in responding to your email
at this time. Please note however, that any urgent queries will be
forwarded to the relevant service for their attention. Thank you for your
understanding and patience at this difficult time.


This message contains information from Belfast Health And Social Care
Trust which may be privileged and confidential.
If you believe you are not the intended recipient any disclosure,
distribution or use of the contents is prohibited.
If you have received this message in error please notify the sender

This email has been scanned for the presence of computer viruses.

PublicLiaison-SM, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

Hi Sally-Anne


Thank you for your request for information received on 30 June 2022 which we are dealing with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further clarification may be required to ensure your request is dealt with appropriately and if this is the case we will contact you again.

Under Freedom of Information guidelines a response should be provided by 29 July 2022

For more information about the legislation and our procedures for dealing with requests for information please refer to our website:

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me and remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Angela McClenaghan
Events Assistant
Corporate Communications
Nore Villa
028 95046759 | | | |

show quoted sections

PublicLiaison-SM, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Burns

I refer to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request received on 30 June 2022. Our response is now attached for your information.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of Information (FOI) request has been handled you may wish to complain. You should contact Public Liaison Services, Nore Villa, Knockbracken Health Care Park, Saintfield Road, Belfast BT8 8BH or alternatively e-mail: [email address] within two months of the date of this response and your complaint will be considered and a response provided usually within 20 working days of receipt.

Should you still be dissatisfied with the outcome, you can proceed to the second review stage by contacting the Information Commissioner, The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review. It is important to note that if you refer any matter to the Information Commissioner, you will need to show evidence of having gone through the Trust’s review process to try to resolve the matter with the Trust in the first instance.

If you require any further information or wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks


Clark Turner (he/him)
Communications Officer
Public Liaison Service
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
E: [email address]

show quoted sections