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78 women murdered in Ireland by their partners since 1996

Women’s Aid is holding a minute’s silence for the women, and children, today.

Woman crying
Woman crying

THE 78 WOMEN murdered in Ireland by their partners or ex-partners since 1996 are to be remembered today.

Women’s Aid is to hold a minute’s silence to remember the women, along with 10 children murdered alongside their mother. It has invited all TDs and Senators to join them.

One in every two women murdered is killed by a current or former boyfriend, partner or husband, said Women’s Aid.

The minute’s silence is to be held at 11am outside Dáil Éireann. Memoriam cards remembering the 78 women have been distributed to politicians.

Stark reminder

78 pairs of women’s shoes and 10 pairs of children’s shoes will be placed outside Leinster House “[to] act as the starkest reminder of the dangerous and sometimes fatal nature of domestic abuse”.

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid said:

Since 1996, 78 women have been murdered by a current or former intimate partner. Women’s Aid records show that this represents over half of all resolved female homicide cases (53%). With 1 in every 2 women murdered being killed by a current or former boyfriend, partner or husband it is imperative that we act now before more lives are stolen.

Women’s Aid believes that increased recognition and management of risk factors for intimate partner homicide would lead to an improved response to domestic abuse by the State and its agencies.

Martin explained: “Risk factors for intimate partner homicide include physical abuse, threats to kill, controlling behaviour, stalking and harassment. Separation is also a risk factor for escalating violence and is often the most dangerous time for women in abusive relationships.”

She described domestic abuse as “a hidden and misunderstood issue in Irish society”. One in five women in Ireland experiences domestic violence including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.

Over 17,000 calls were answered by the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline in 2013.

Martin said that some women who called the helpline “spoke of inconsistent responses by State institutions and agencies such as the Courts and Gardaí”. She said these experiences were supported by the recent Garda Inspectorate Report.

The minute’s silence takes place ahead of the International Day Opposing Violence against Women (25 November 2014) and the beginning of the Women’s Aid One in Five Women Awareness Campaign.

Read: Increases in domestic violence against men>

Read: One in seven sex abuse victims felt they were treated insensitively by gardaí>

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