26 Jun 2022

Men must 'call out abuse against women' in wake of Offaly murder

Men must 'call out abuse against women' in wake of Offaly murder

Flowers left at the Grand Canal greenway near where Ashling was murdered

VIOLENCE against women is at epidemic levels in Ireland and made even more precarious by the pandemic which saw thousands of women in lockdown with their perpetrators, Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service (ODVSS) said in a statement issued in the wake of the brutal murder of Ashling Murphy.

“Violence in the community is very worrying,” said Anne Clarke Manager with ODVSS.  “Every day we support women who are experiencing high levels of violence within a hair breath of losing their lives, women are living in fear in their homes , on the street and in work,” she revealed.

“The killing of Clodagh Hawe and her three children should have been a watershed moment, as should have been Anna Gregial and Nadine Lott. Women are already on high alert carrying their keys in their pocket, texting when they get home, surveying the area they walk for danger. It is time for men to come forward and call out the abuse, step up when they hear cat calls and put downs of women.  A curtural shift is needed if we are to avoid losing another innocent life to violence.”

She continued: “We need a proactive response from Government where all interventions are preventative, breaches of domestic violence orders are acted upon, proper sentencing for perpetrator that are a deterrant.  A whole of Government response is needed. At the moment violence against women is across several different departments, we need one unit in the department of An Taoiseach that will have an overarching responsibility of the safety of women and children in this country along with a national service plan and budget.  It shouldn’t be a post code lottery to avail of services depending on where you live.”

Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service has extended their deepest sympathies to Ashling Murphy’s parents Kathleen and Ray, her sister Amy, brother Cathal and partner Ryan. 

“The whole community is left shocked and numb by this brutal act of violence,” stressed Anne Clarke.

ODVSS this years marks 25 years of supporting victims of domestic and gender based violence.

The service was founded by Pauline and Dolores Byrne, Joan Shanley,   Ann O'Neill, Cassie Stauntion and Molly Buckley following the death of Pauline’s and Dolores niece Sylvia Ryan as a result of a domestic violence attack . 

“As we move into early 2022 to see another life taken twenty five years on is truly soul destroying.  If you are experiencing domestic violence and in need of support, please contact our confidential line on 0579351886 or 0860419154.  Website,” said Ms Clarke.

Since 1996, 244 women have lost their lives to violence in Ireland.

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