'Women are not afraid of the dark or a lonely space. They are afraid of a violent male perpetrator in the dark.'
Women’s Aid has today called for zero tolerance of all forms of male violence against women in the wake of the violent killing of a young woman in Co. Offaly.
Ashling Murphy was killed in what is believed to be a random attack as she ran along the Royal Canal in Tullamore in Co. Offaly.
Women’s Aid, who has kept a record of the violent deaths of women in Ireland since 1996, says that 244 women have now been killed since then with 87% of resolved cases being perpetrated by a man known to the victim. 13% of perpetrators were strangers.
Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid says: “The appalling murder of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in Co. Offaly, yesterday is a shocking example of the dangers posed to women by violent men. We offer our sincere condolences to Ashling’s family, friends and community.”
Ms Benson explains: “Women are not afraid of the dark or a lonely space. They are afraid of a violent male perpetrator in the dark. Not all men are violent, and I don’t think anyone is claiming that. However, the majority of violence against women, and indeed men, is perpetrated by men. That’s something as a whole society, including men, we need to tackle.”
We need to make a collective effort to change, and the Irish government needs to invest in education, Ms Benson concludes: “Every woman should have the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities. We need a zero tolerance to all forms of male violence against women and it will take all of us to commit to lasting change. This includes men who must act as allies in tackling misogyny and inequality. There needs to be an investment in resources for education to change attitudes and we need an improved criminal justice system that better protects women. If we do this, we will ultimately create a more equal and safer society for everyone – men and women alike.”