incidents this week have again brutally illustrated that
violence against women is at a horrifying level.
murder of a mother by incinerating her with petrol in Kilkeel,
the rape and assault of a woman by a teenage gang and left
lying in a Belfast street in the early hours, should have the
whole community asking questions about this barbarous
behaviour by men and how to prevent it. Instead, we have had a
plethora of reported comments about the women’s behaviour,
which has the effect of seeming to explain, justify or even
blame the victims.
is no excuse for any violence in the home or in the streets.
We urge the media, church leaders, politicians, other
professionals involved and the general public to become more
actively engaged in the campaigns against violence against
women and in Women’s Aid.
more about how you can become involved in preventing such
tragedies. There are no quick fix solutions of course, but
there will be no long term ones either unless the community
takes action. And we will continue to reap the consequences of
inaction against violence against women. These are domestic
murders, attempted murder, manslaughter, serious injury,
hospitalization, mental breakdown, disability, homelessness,
substance abuse, abuse of children, rape and sexual abuse,
living in anxiety, depression, child neglect and failure to
thrive. The British Crime Survey indicates that 1 in 4 women
experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.
campaigns in other jurisdictions recognize the folly of
explaining away, minimizing and denying domestic violence and
the consequences of doing so.
will become increasingly powerless to prevent this and all the
other violence’s which plague our communities. Our values
are first learned at home. We must learn to protect women and
children there, and then they may also be safe on the streets.