omestic Violence: At what point does society start to take it seriously?
Not even at the point when violence results in death. Between January 1996 and the end of June 2005, 109 women were murdered in Ireland, 72 of these in their own homes
Home and relationships as a safe haven is something many young people don’t experience. Through the exposure of church scandals and memoirs, the public forums have begun to open up to discussing physical and sexual abuse. That is a very positive step, yet what has managed to slip from these agendas is frank discussion about violence perpetrated in many forms; deeply affecting the lives of young people, in places and spaces designated as being safe. Domestic Violence statistics for Ireland are nothing short of shocking-In 2007 alone 22, 545 calls for support were made to Womens Aid. We are becoming more aware that we live in a violent society-gangland crime being the most visible-yet violence in the home is glazed over in language such as ‘domestic dispute’, ‘a Domestic’ etc.
Organisations working with survivors work tirelessly to initiate change, so young people do not grow up experiencing the effects of violence. Waterside Outreach (COPE) who provide secure refuge for women and children survivors of Domestic Violence have created a dynamic programme, which is currently being used in schools. It highlights healthy and unhealthy relationships and encourages thought on when a relationship turns abusive. Domestic Violence Response in Connemara, a community driven locally based organisation has created a brilliant booklet produced by teenagers for teenagers on relationships. These are great avenues to openly discuss violence in relationships. As Human Rights organisation Amnesty International has stated, “Violence against women is not a private matter - it is everyone's business."