Men who beat their wives are cowards and bring shame on their country, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
He was responding to the Labour Leader Brendan Howlin during Leaders’ Questions who raised a new Woman’s Aid report which showed that in 2015, the national domestic abuse service received 16,375 disclosures of domestic abuse against women and 5,966 disclosures of child abuse.
In a powerful contribution,
“These figures will shock not only those of us in this Chamber but also everybody across the country. Across Ireland, women have been choked, scalded, strangled, punched, spat at, cut with knives and hit with golf clubs. These are acts of barbarism,” he said.
“Over the past 20 years, 211 women have been murdered in Ireland, almost half at the hands of people using their bare hands. In 2015 in Ireland, far too many women lived in fear. That continues this year. The women live in fear of physical and psychological abuse, and they fear for their children. We clearly need to do more to protect women in the home and women in relationships,” he added.
“Those who do so are not macho. Those who do so should be ashamed of themselves because they bring shame on our country,” he said.
“I do not know the costs involved but I am sure a case could be made that would bring it about. If the making of a call would protect one person fearing for her life, the helpline will have to be considered. I will follow up on that issue immediately,”
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