Tuesday 27 September 2016

Holly Carpenter: 'I've seen the lack of respect some men have for women'

Holly Carpenter

Published 11/03/2016 | 07:24

Holly Carpenter
Holly Carpenter

It's great to be getting back on my feet after a few weeks of illness.

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I would like to say thank you for all of the good wishes and concern from those around me. It really helped and I am very appreciative of it. Thankfully, I'm on the mend and really looking forward to getting back to a busy life.

While I was off, I have been catching up with the news.

I was shocked when I heard about Dublin woman Victoria Curtis who was punched in the face on her way home from a night out in Dublin last weekend. All because she spoke back to a man who told her and her friends to take off their clothes.

The brutal attack took place on Camden Street around 2am on Sunday morning.

Curtis took to her Facebook page where she shared a photo of her bruised face (inset) and wrote: "This is what being punched four times in the face looks like because you're a queer. This is what happens when we call them out. This is what will keep happening if we keep ignoring and accepting their behaviour."

Ireland has come a long way in recent years with the passing of the marriage referendum.

But I find it disgusting that there are still people out there who think it's acceptable to treat anyone this way regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.

Curtis said: "This is constantly happening women, and it's not just me and it's not just my friends."

I definitely agree with that statement. I constantly see groups of young women out in town getting shouted at and leered at by groups of lads. I would hate to see this become 'the norm' in Dublin.

Although some people might think it's funny and just a bit of banter, it can be a very frightening and intimidating situation for any woman to be in, especially if they're on their own.

Luckily, neither me nor any of my friends have ever come to any physical harm, but it doesn't stop us from looking over our shoulders.

Recently while I was on a night out in Dublin, we heard a guy talking about a friend of mine. He said, 'Jesus she's really asking for it in that dress', followed by a roar of laughter from his mates.

We ended up having to reassure her she looked great and persuade her not to go home.

It might sound like a small thing but it really knocked her confidence for the night and I think it was a disgusting remark to make.

I agree with Victoria that consent courses should be taught in college. The focus shouldn't be on teaching women how to stay safe, it should be on teaching young people about respect and not crossing the line.

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