Violence against women ‘at epidemic levels’ – Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has warned that violence against women is at ‘epidemic levels’.
Speaking in the Dáil today, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Teachta McDonald warned the Taoiseach that victims and survivors deserve more than just words on the issue and must see action from this Government.
Teachta McDonald told the Taoiseach:
“Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It marks the start of the sixteen-day campaign against domestic and gender-based violence. It is an annual campaign, as you know.
“I, and others, stand up in this chamber year after year and we recite the statistics that attempt to capture the horrific abuse and violence to which so many women and children are subjected.
“I have no doubt that everybody in this house gets angry when we hear the heart-breaking stories of women who have been battered and emotionally broken by the violence inflicted upon them.
“Taoiseach, it is time to face up to the fact that we have a real problem with domestic and gender-based violence in Ireland.
“It is time for the political system and government to move past whatever uneasiness it has about admitting it.
“Violence against women - abuse happening behind closed doors and drawn curtains - is at epidemic levels.
“The truth is that successive governments have failed women and children who have been caught up in the horror of this abuse.
“Until a government confronts this problem with the honesty and the determination it demands, too many of the cries for help from abused women will go unanswered and unheard.
"I have to say that I am struggling to find the words to express my anger about how this issue has been swept under the carpet for years.”