It does not say anything unusual about our society that West Cork’s first safe house for women and children facing the threat of domestic violence will need state-of-the-art security with reinforced doors, panic buttons, and cameras.
It does, though, say something shocking. Domestic violence is and has always been a universal reality and the phenomena persists despite judicial and cultural sanctions.
That does not mean it can be tolerated or that we must not do more to stamp it out.
West Cork Women Against Violence is one of many organisations offering refuge to women and children in jeopardy.
Because of the generosity of an anonymous donor, it will be able to expand its services. That generosity is entirely laudable but it must say something profound, and saddening, that those who need protection must rely on the kindness of strangers.
That situation does not reflect a kind of tacit tolerance but it does suggest that our attitude towards domestic violence is not as firm as it should be. It must change and harden if the bullies are not to prevail.