“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.
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:
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’.
It’s great to see a rapist be convicted and receive an actual sentence in Ireland. How sad that I am surprised and relieved.
HOWEVER, we really need to stop with the “no previous convictions” nonsense – which says nothing of a rapist’s character.
The rapist is a rapist – there’s his character right there.
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.
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. Abuse can be lethal.
“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: