Dún Laoghaire goes purple to highlight the prevalence of domestic violence across Ireland

22nd April 2021 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

On Friday April 23rd wear a little purple to show solidarity with victims of domestic violence and with those offering support, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Civic offices around the country will light up purple on Friday to highlight the prevalence of domestic violence across Ireland, including the Harbour plaza boat and the County Hall in Dún Laoghaire, Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill said.

Deputy Carroll MacNeill said: “Seeing so much support really lifts the spirits of those working in domestic violence services. We all need to support each other in order to break the silence on this insidious issue that is behind too many doors in homes across Ireland.

“When it comes to the spectrum of issues of domestic sexual and gender violence, we are looking at a behaviour of psychological manipulation of a person as much as physical. It can be subtle but the pattern can be very damaging.

“It is a lack of boundaries, a disregard for personhood that forms the seed for the sense that one is entitled to exert themselves on any other person.

“The key link between these acts is that sense of exertion on another. Whether we’re talking about sexual violence or domestic abuse, coercive control, parental alienation; they are all different sides of this same phenomenon – the diminishing of personhood, and the sense of entitlement to control or hurt someone.

“To break this pattern of behaviour, we need to understand these issues, from a societal perspective, a Government policy perspective and a judicial perspective.

“There are fantastic organisations doing some very good work in these areas. This week, I had good ongoing discussions with the new CEO of Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott, CEO of Women’s Aid Sarah Benson, with CEO of Men’s Aid Kathrina Bentley, and with representatives from Saoirse Domestic Violence Services in Tallaght and representatives from Alienated Children First.

“I look forward to continuing my work with them, and I also welcome the work of the many representative groups contributing to the Oireachtas Justice Committee, of which I am a member.

“Minister McEntee is actively working on the Family Law reform programme, which is urgently needed to build a new Family Law Court where we have judges, lawyers and other professionals, especially Section 47 assessors, that are specifically trained in these areas – including contemporary understandings of the manipulative patterns of behaviour that affect children and families and which can be perpetuated throughout the family law process.

“We are shortly expecting a significant external audit of how responsibility for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence is segmented across different government agencies, which is being conducted by Mary Higgins and Ellen O’Malley Dunlop. It is important that government reacts in a comprehensive and timely way to this audit which has been developed taking into account the views of service providers and NGOs, including people working on the frontline in domestic violence services.”

 

Notes for Editors:

  • Go Purple is a national campaign to highlight the prevalence of domestic violence across Ireland. As Ireland went into lockdown domestic violence services dealt with a surge in demand and fear further increase as the country opens up over the coming months.
  • Go Purple takes place on Friday 23rd April – asking people to wear purple, dye your hair purple, bake purple cakes and show your support for anyone experiencing an abusive relationship and to donate to their local domestic violence service.
  • The public are encouraged to take a photo on their purple picture and tag domestic violence services across social media to show their support.
  • Civic offices across Ireland will also light up purple on Friday evening. (Dun Laoghaire too!)

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