It’s been pretty harrowing listening to today’s coverage of the case of domestic violence that culminated in the murder of a young mother. The man, who strangled his wife and allegedly threatened to kill her on more than one occasion is pleading guilty to manslaughter, not to murder. That’s one issue I have with this case.
The real issue I have, closely related, is that nature of his reasoning – he says he was ‘provoked’.
“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.
So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”
So, here we are again. Today is the 108th International Women’s Day and while we have made huge strides in some areas, we have a very long way to go.
Much has been written in the lead up to today. And much of it grim. I won’t even go into the Tuam babies horror here. To mark the day I thought I’d post a compilation of important pieces about how women are (still) being treated in the 21st century. It’s not terrifically cheery reading so you might want to stop now. I understand, I really do.
Christmas is nearly here and for those with abusive partners it’s a particularly dangerous day.
For some, it will be lethal.
It can be hard to know how to define abuse, and when we are ‘in’ an abusive situation, it can be hard to ‘see’ that it’s abusive. But you might have a niggling feeling, your friends or family may have expressed concern.
“Is our relationship healthy? Is it normal? Are we OK?”
These questions come up all the time in therapy – actually, if you’re lucky, they come up over coffee with friends! You’ve maybe had those conversations, praying that your friends will say “Ya! – we fight more than you do actually – you have it sown UP compared to us!”.
This was the first commissioned article I wrote for the Farmer’s Journal. It looks at issues around domestic violence against women. It’s old, and so some of the info is out of date!
In the Journal we often get telephone calls from women who are being abused by their husbands. Many of them have never spoken to anyone about the abuse and do not know what their rights are. Here, Cork psychologist Sally O’Reilly looks at the problem of domestic violence and outlines the options open to women who are being abused: