Women’s Aid has called for zero tolerance of all forms of male violence against women, following the murder of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy in Co. Offaly.
The primary school teacher was jogging along the Royal Canal in Tullamore on Wednesday afternoon when she was brutally attacked in broad daylight.
A man in his 40s has been arrested in connection with the incident, and the Gardaí are appealing for more information.
Women’s Aid, who has kept a record of the violent deaths of women in Ireland since 1996, has revealed 244 women have been killed since then.
87% of resolved cases were committed by a man known to the victim, and 13% of perpetrators were strangers.
In a statement shared this morning, Sarah Benson, the CEO of Women’s Aid, said: “The killing of women is the extreme end of a spectrum of violence and abuse that women in Ireland and across the world experience every day.”
“The appalling murder of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in Co. Offaly, yesterday is a shocking example of the dangers posed to women by violent men. We offer our sincere condolences to Ashling’s family, friends and community.”
“The Women’s Aid Femicide Watch shows that in the majority of homicide incidents, women have been killed by a man known to them (87%). While 13% of women were killed by a stranger.”
“While the killing of women by strangers are rare, they highlight the climate of fear in which women live our lives.”
Women’s Aid view in the wake of the killing of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore: We need a zero tolerance of all forms of male violence against women. Read more. https://t.co/gIWs3HsuVO pic.twitter.com/9DGVUzgCDI
— Women’s Aid Ireland (@Womens_Aid) January 13, 2022
“As with the horrific case of Sarah Everard’s murder in the UK last year, we see on social media, an outpouring of women’s lifelong experiences of systemic misogyny and casual sexism and abuse,” she continued.
“We are also hearing of the internalised fears many women carry no matter where they are in public places because of this. Any response to yesterday’s appalling events must not focus on places – it must focus on perpetrators.”
“We must not fall into tired tropes of examining whether areas are ‘safe’ but consider instead the attitudes and actions of men who make women feel unsafe even in crowded and well lit areas.”
“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 of violence against women, and indeed men, is perpetrated by men. That’s something as a whole society, including men, we need to tackle.”
Sarah Benson concluded her statement by writing: “Every woman should have the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities. We need a zero tolerance to all forms of male violence against women and it will take all of us to commit to lasting change.”
“This includes men who must act as allies in tackling misogyny and inequality. There needs to be an investment in resources for education to change attitudes and we need an improved criminal justice system that better protects women.”
“If we do this, we will ultimately create a more equal and safer society for everyone – men and women alike.”
The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is 1800 341 900. For help and support you can also log onto www.womensaid.ie.