Wednesday 20 September 2017

'You should be able to walk in your community after dark' - South Dublin residents to stage march after string of sexual assaults

Gardaí near the Bayview Estate in Killiney. Photo: Mark Condren

Residents in Killiney and Shankill are to stage a 'take back the night ' march in the wake of a string of sexual assaults in the area.

Organiser Emily Lyons (23) said she was moved to set up the march after hearing stories of women in her area being too afraid to walk late at night due to sexual attacks on women in the area.

Between December 2015 and and now at least four assaults on women were reported to gardai, while two suspicious approaches were also reported.

In recent weeks a woman in her 40s was also assaulted at the front of the Bayview housing estate.

Ms Lyons said the attacks were having a knock-on effect in her community.

"I keep repeatedly hearing about people who won't walk home from the Dart station on their own and or won't go out exercising in the evening because they're scared," the Shankill resident said.

"I think you should be allowed to go for a walk anywhere in your community whether it's pitch dark [or not]. You should be able to go for a run."

She was also frustrated at measures being taken in the area which she felt shifted attention away from those responsible for the crimes.

"It just frustrated me to hear that these were like the solutions because it just diverts the blame. Overgrown bushes and poorly-lit areas did not cause the assaults, perpetrators did," she said.

"The march is in response to the fear that people feel and also to support the victims."

Ms Lyons is confident that there will be a good turnout for the march, following an initial positive response from the community.

The walk is to take back the Friday 17 February at 7.30pm starting at Shankill Dart station to Killiney Dart station

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