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‘Zero tolerance’ on violence against women – TD



The need for “zero tolerance” of violence against women was highlighted by Dundalk TD, Peter Fitzpatrick this week.

Speaking in the Dail he said the horrific death of Ashling Murphy “has raised many questions that need to be addressed: about our justice system; about gender-based violence; about women's safety; and about men and their attitudes towards women.”

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that the violent death of Ashling and the deaths of 244 other women who have died violently since 1996 result in changes being made that will ensure society becomes a safe place for women. The bottom line is that we need to have an attitude of zero tolerance when it comes to violence against women,” said Deputy Fitzpatrick.

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“In my opinion this is simply not just a criminal justice issue. Preventing abusive behaviour towards women will require the eradication of certain social and cultural attitudes held by many men which contribute to women feeling unsafe.  We need a sea change in culture and attitude in our society.

As men we need to listen to women. Misogyny is not acceptable and needs to be eliminated from our society. To put a stop to violence and abuse towards women in Irish society we must eradicate the societal and cultural attitudes that make women feel unsafe and threatened. To do this requires a change in our cultural attitudes so that we are not all bystanders and look the other way when we see behaviour that is not acceptable to women. We must call it out for what it is. It must be no longer ignored. The bottom line is that all women bar none have a right to be safe no matter where they are or what they are doing.”

He added: “Once and for all we must address the issue of gender-based violence. It starts with us as legislators, we must have legislation that is fit for purpose. Men must also address issues relating to misogyny. We must have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violence against women.

“The tragic and needless death of Ashling was a terrible tragedy and must never be forgotten. It is our responsibility as a society to ensure this marks a point in time where we all say enough is enough. Violence against women must end.”