Saturday 24 February 2018

Society's approach to domestic abuse needs to change

Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley
Sara Staunton
"Violent men who batter women and children need to be called out and named for the violent criminals they are"
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

Just as the horrors of the Graham Dwyer trial recede, violence against women has again come calling. The agonising four-day search and tragic discovery of the body of young Irishwoman Karen Buckley in Glasgow plunged all parents of young adults into a state of dread and heartbreak. With so many of our young adult children in far-flung cities, making their way as emigrants, the plight of the Buckley family resonates with thousands of Irish families.

Our young people, in the main, cope very well with the adjustments of emigrating to new societies. They are educated, confident and sensible. They pick up jobs, make new friends, put up with inadequate accommodation and homesickness and generally make the best of the challenges of living in a new country. One thinks of thousands of Irish youngsters beavering away in jobs or studying in colleges in Canada, Australia or closer to home in Britain. They keep in touch through Skype or FaceTime and this more than anything else alleviates the sense of loss and distance between the emigrant child and parent at home. Such a state of affairs has become the norm in Ireland and is not all negative.

For most young people, a period abroad and away from Ireland is a good and exciting episode in their lives. Most intend to come back, and will as the economy picks up and their priorities change from adventure and spreading their wings to settling down with partners and having children. This is modern Irish life. But occasionally, when out of one's culture and familiar surroundings, random encounters with strangers can lurk for our young people which end in tragedy.

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