WOMEN are being subjected to extraordinary and barbaric acts of violence every day in this country — that is a fact.
While men may also experience physical abuse in the home, the overwhelming majority of victims of domestic violence are women and children — that is also a fact.
The most disturbing fact of all is that 79% of women fail to report to anyone — let alone the gardaí — that they have experienced either physical or sexual assault in their own homes.
According to research carried out by SAFE Ireland, the charity that supports victims of domestic abuse, two-thirds of women living in such circumstances are physically assaulted on a weekly basis. That is not just a grim statistic but the shocking reality of life for thousands of women in Ireland.
It makes the courage and resilience of Tara Byrd, the Cork woman whose former partner scalded her with sugar-laced boiling water, all the more remarkable.
She has appealed to women to get out of relationships with paranoid, jealous and violent men. “If they feel any man is controlling them or being paranoid, get away from them, it will only get worse,” Ms Byrd said after Michael Lynch was jailed for two-and-a-half years for assaulting her.
Let us hope women in similar circumstances will find the courage to do so and that the Department of Justice and gardaí will be proactive in encouraging them.
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