29 Sept 2022

Louise Loves: Ashling should have made it home

Louise Loves: Ashling   should have made it home

Vigil for Ashling Murphy at Arthurs Quay Park last Friday

Like so many other women across the country. My heart has been so heavy in the wake of Ashling Murphy's murder. An unfathomable crime that occurred in broad daylight. It does not make sense.

First and foremost, my deepest sympathies to Ashling’s family and friends, their lives have changed forever. In fact, I think all of our lives have. Ashling Murphy was a name we did not know a week ago, and now it is a name we will never forget. The vigils, tributes, and minutes of silence. The outpouring of sadness, and hurt, anger and grief.
On Friday night, along with hundreds of others, I attended the vigil in Arthur's Quay Park. A few things struck me. Firstly, the deep sadness. Then, the feeling of strength in unity, and the collective belief that something must change and finally the lineup of musicians - all male - who paid beautiful tribute to their fellow musician.
There have been a lot of opinions shared on social media this week and lots of inspirational people making really valid and crucial contributions to a big conversation.
Women’s Aid, a charity that work to prevent and address the impact of domestic violence and abuse, called for zero tolerance of all forms of male violence against women:
“The killing of women is the extreme end of a spectrum of violence and abuse that woman in Ireland and across the world experience every day,”
“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 violence against women, and indeed men, is perpetrated by men. That’s something as a whole society, including men, we need to tackle.” said CEO Sarah Benson.
I agree that we need to focus on prevention. Preventing men’s violence against women starts with creating a zero-tolerance culture towards that misogyny and sexism that creates the context in which gender-based violence occurs.
Educational resources for programmes need to be funded in second and third level education. Policies need to change within our education system. Casual sexism that girls and women experience IS unacceptable. There needs to be zero tolerance for any form of harassment!
Call it out, report it, talk about it, educate yourself and help educate others.

ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services Limerick
ADAPT is a voluntary organisation which was set up in 1974, to provide a wide range of supports to women survivors of domestic abuse and their children across Limerick City and County. ADAPT runs the largest refuge in the country providing emergency accommodation for women and children who have to leave their homes because of domestic abuse. It also provides a wide range of outreach services for women who are not staying in the refuge including: 24-hour helpline support, 1-2-1 support in relation to issues arising as a result of domestic abuse e.g. financial and housing concerns, accompaniment to court to seek legal protection, support groups for women who are or have been in an abusive relationship, and educational opportunities for women survivors of domestic abuse.
ADAPT also provides a range of support for children and young people who are or have lived with domestic abuse. These services include helpline support, one-to-one support in relation to their experience, emotional and practical support in relation to their concerns, group work programmes for young people, educational support, and a play therapy service. For more information search online or for 24-hour help and support freephone 1800200504.

Use your voice kindly on social media this week.

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