Wednesday 22 February 2017

We continue to excuse the abuser and vilify the abused

The rights of abusive and violent men still trump those of women and children, writes Carol Hunt

Published 13/10/2013 | 05:00

AINE ADAMS: Her rights should have been prioritised
AINE ADAMS: Her rights should have been prioritised

IT STARTS right at the beginning, when the mother is required to attend her local maternity hospital in order to deliver her child. It shows where both mother and child stand in the hierarchy of things. These hospitals are "not fit for purpose". But sure, being maternity hospitals, they're only for the use of women and their babies.

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This is presumably why the recommendations advised after the avoidable death of Tania McCabe and one of her twin sons were not implemented. It's why Savita Halappanavar died. It's why Minister Frances Fitzgerald is now commissioning reports on reports already commissioned. Because where the health and welfare of women and children is concerned, it's a case of ticking boxes. Just look as if you're doing something when yet another death occurs or another child is abused, and that's enough. We've already forgotten about the Children's Referendum, haven't we? Not that it concerned too many at the time, having one of the lowest voting turnouts in any referendum. Tick a box, that's all we had to do, and – abracadabra – all the children of the country were cherished.

Prior to the vote, critics of the amendment argued that, if passed, it would put the rights of the family above the rights of the child. By "rights of the family", one wonders if they meant the rights of the male parent. They need not have worried. The rights of men – of abusive, violent men, whether within the church or the family – still trump those of women and children.

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