Why do women with freedom and opportunity choose violent partners?
THE shocking revelation that more than a quarter of women in Ireland have been victims of domestic or physical violence has elicited a strong response from a number of women's organisations, including the National Women's Council of Ireland, the Rape Crisis Centre and even the Girl Guides.
Sharon O'Halloran, director of Safe Ireland – the national organisation which combats domestic violence – has even called for the Government to establish a high-level cabinet sub-committee to address "the prevalence, complexity and poor response" to all forms of violence against women in Ireland.
Who would disagree with such a right and worthy cause? Hitting people is wrong: men hitting women is totally unacceptable. But, while there is no shortage of statistics about the prevalence of personal violence – Sharon O'Halloran describes the current report, which came from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, as "the tip of the iceberg" – we are much shorter on analysis of why this violence occurs.