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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 14:19 GMT
Breaking domestic violence stereotype
Mari Reid
Mari Reid had refused a reconciliation with her husband
Wales' assistant children's commissioner has spoken about her sister's murder at the hands of her estranged husband, at a conference challenging the stereotyping of domestic violence.

Mari Reid, who was 29 and the mother of a two-year-old boy, was stabbed to death in her kitchen by unemployed chef Wayne Reid on 1 March six years ago on Monday - after she refused a reconciliation.

Thirty-year-old Reid was jailed for life at Swansea Crown Court a year later after he was found guilty of the murder.

Sara Reid spoke about her sister Mari at the multi-agency talks on Monday, and how her death would challenge people's perceptions of the victims of such crimes.

Her story isn't what you would expect as a stereotypical story of a woman who was living from day to day with domestic abuse
Sara Reid

Police, prosecutors, councillors and aid workers gathered at the North Wales Domestic Abuse Conference at Rhos near Wrexham, with the aim of sharing their experiences to help develop services such as counselling and refuges.

On the sixth anniversary of her sister's death, Ms Reid said she wanted to use the occasion to highlight the importance of changing attitudes towards domestic abuse.

The 42-year-old was working for the charity Women's Aid when her sister was murdered - since then she has moved to the new children's commissioner's office which deals with issues affecting youngsters in Wales.

She now looks after her sister's son, eight-year-old Jac.

"Mari's son lives with me as part of our family so I'm a mum to four children," she said.

"He's treated very equally but he does know who he is.

Sara Reid
Sara Reid looks after her sister's son Jac

"He knows his mother was Mari and he is very much her son - he has the same bubbly, outgoing personality.

"Hopefully, he'll be as strong a person as she was because he too will have a lot to cope with as he grows up."

"Her story isn't what you would expect as a stereotypical story of a woman who was living from day-to-day with domestic abuse," said Sara Reid.

"Unfortunately, it did mean that her life was brought to an end prematurely."

Helpline

Monday's conference on domestic abuse brought together professionals to share their collective experience in dealing with victims of violence in the home.

Latest statistics suggest that - out of 554,000 children in Wales - 85,000 live in homes where they witness domestic abuse.

To tackle the problem, a freephone telephone number for people to dial in confidence is being launched by Welsh Women's Aid.

The number will go live on 1 April from a site in Gwynedd and will be manned 12 hours a day.

Wales is the last country in the UK to install the telephone helpline for victims of domestic violence. The number is to be made available soon.




SEE ALSO:
Women's group reaches out
01 Feb 02  |  Wales


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