9th November 2023: Women’s Aid today welcomes the conviction of Josef Puska for the murder of Ashling Murphy. When Puska senselessly took Ashling Murphy’s life at 3.30pm in broad daylight while she was out on a run, it sent a shockwave through communities in Ireland. That this could happen tapped into a visceral feeling that so many girls and women are socialised to feel – that the risk of male violence is everywhere. That nowhere is safe.
The murder of Ashling Murphy was a shocking example of dangers posed to women and the case put a spotlight on the inherent risk of male violence in society. Every woman should have the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities.
Since 1996, when Women’s Aid began recording the violent deaths of women in Ireland, 263 lives have been lost due to violence and abuse.Each woman killed violently is an outrage. An absolute tragic loss of life resulting in utter heartache and trauma for those left behind. 263 women whose voices have been silenced through violence, and whose boundless potential was robbed of them and their loved ones.
One man goes to jail today, but this will not bring Ashling back or compensate for her heart-rending loss. Effective criminal justice sanctions are vital, and we truly hope this offers some measure of justice and closure to Ashling’s family and friends. However, prevention of such violence is also crucial. Women’s Aid hope that the deep social resonance this violent crime, and the violence that has stolen the lives of 262 other women since 1996 will not be squandered. This should spur us on, in all aspects of Irish society, to do the work required to achieve equality and safety for all to make Ireland a country that truly has zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – now and for our future generations.
Please attribute any quotes taken from this statement to Sarah Benson, CEO, Women’s Aid.
For further information contact Christina Sherlock on 087 9192457 or by email at email@example.com