More of our girls die by suicide than on mainland Europe – why?

Teen girl
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“Are you f*&king serious?” she asks me, looking at me in that angry / scared / amused way that only teens can do. I like this girl, this young woman. She’s valiant, honest and has a righteous rage.

I am serious I tell her. Really serious.

Moments earlier she’d whipped out her phone to show me an article that she read on the way to my office. The grim headline read: Ireland has the highest rate in Europe for young girls taking their own lives

And I had asked her why she thought this was the case.

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Happy International Womens’ Day!

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Yay us – what a year! A lot has happened this year. A lot of it really, really terrible. We’ve talked about Weinstein, #MeToo, Rape Culture, Porn, Women and the church, our own entertainment industry and its grim history of sexual misconduct.  Our next challenges are to respectfully debate Repeal the 8th, to continue to #changetheconversation, to keep up the momentum of reform for ourselves, our partners, our children. It’s clear that terrible things have happened.

But on the other hand:

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The trouble with “provocation” & domestic violence

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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’.

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On staying together for the sake of the kids

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“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.”

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Happy International Women’s Day! (but not for all of us)

Violence against Women
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So, here we are again. Every Year since 1908 we have celebrated 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 go into the Tuam babies thing here.. (2018 edit –  Weinstein, #MeToo, Repeal the 8th debate, the women-being-ordained question, the sordid details of the rape (victim) trial, the pick-your-own-horror-story… ).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.

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Domestic Violence against women

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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:

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