Over the weekend, another woman fell victim to the scourge of domestic violence, leaving behind two devastated daughters and a grandchild she will never see growing up. The ripple effect of such tragedies leaves families traumatised for generations to come.
These incidents demand the same level of societal outrage as the high-profile cases, such as the murder of Aisling Murphy. The only difference lies in the proximity of the perpetrator, as both cases involve the harrowing experiences of violence, in the case of Claire Collins it was domestic violence.
The question that echoes through this heart-breaking narrative is whether society is inadvertently creating a checklist for validating outrage in the face of such heinous acts. The parameters seem to include scenarios where the victim is a stranger, the incident occurs in broad daylight, or the victim adheres to societal expectations regarding clothing and behaviour. The list, unfortunately, is endless, reflecting a troubling trend in how society responds to violence against women.
It is a call to action for society to recognise that every death at the hands of men’s violence, whether the victim fits a certain checklist or not, warrants the same level of disdain and outrage. The statistics from Ireland, where 12 women were murdered last year alone, underscore the urgency of addressing the pervasive issue of domestic violence.
Shockingly, 1-in-4 women will experience abuse by a current or former partner, emphasising the need for a comprehensive societal response.
The only way forward lies in early education, starting in schools, to instill in children the understanding that no form of abuse is acceptable. By teaching children early about healthy relationships and challenging harmful influences like violent video games and pornography, society can contribute to breaking the cycle of violence.
The call to action extends to all, as a collective responsibility to ensure that young boys grow up with the knowledge and values that prevent them from becoming perpetrators of preventable crimes. Early education emerges as a critical tool to pave the way for a safer society for everyone, particularly within the confines of the home where women are most vulnerable to violence.