On Day 4 of the 16 Days of Action Campaign, Women's Aid highlight the links between femicide and domsetic violence. Our Femicide Watch 1996 - 2016 shows that a woman in Ireland is more likely to be killed in her own home and by a current or former boyfriend, partner or husband.
The report reveals that since the beginning of 1996, 209 women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland. 16 children were killed alongside their mothers. 131 women (63%) were killed in their own homes.
Where the cases have been resolved (through the courts or in cases of murder-suicide) 89 women (54%) were murdered by a current or former male intimate partner.
Domestic violence kills women. It kills children too. In 2015 we heard over 22,000 disclosures of abuse of women and children. Every day on the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline we hear from women who live on a knife edge of fear and it would be wrong to underestimate the scale and impact of violence against women. Homicide is the ultimate act of domestic violence. Last year there were 970 threats to kill women, children and family members disclosed to Women’s Aid. There were 579 additional disclosures of assaults with weapons, threats with weapons and being strangled and smothered.
At our launch on Friday we marked each woman's life with a dove with her name and age written on it. One of those doves was for Ann Walsh, who was just 23 years old when her ex-boyfriend murdered her in 2005. Ann's mother, also called Ann, her brother Stephen and his partner Emma and son Jack joined us at our event.
Stephen bravely spoke about the murder of his sister Ann and the impact that it has had on his family and the campaign for justice they are running in her name. You can check out their work on their Facebook Page Justice for Ann Walsh.
Stephen spoke to Pat Kenny on Friday and you can listen to the interview here. He wants to reach out to women who may be in a similar situation to his sister - afraid of their partner, being hurt by their partner, but who have never spoken to anyone about it.
Lethal violence is at the most severe end of the spectrum of violence against women. We know where women are killed. We know how women are killed and by whom. And we know why. It is time to act. Femicide must not be accepted as a fact of life. Women should be safe in their homes and in their relationships. And we must recognise the strong connection between the killing of women and domestic violence.
For anyone concerned about their safety or anxious about their relationship, please call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900. www.WomensAid.ie.