herald

Saturday 1 November 2014

Just ignore all of the cynics ...One Billion Rising is not anti-men, it's anti-violence

Thandie Newton, Ruby Wax, Kathy Lette and Jahmene Douglas support One Billion Rising. (Ben Pruchnie/Getty)
Thandie Newton, Ruby Wax, Kathy Lette and Jahmene Douglas support One Billion Rising. (Ben Pruchnie/Getty)

In the time it takes you to read this newspaper, another woman in this country will have been beaten or raped.

Every single hour, a crime of this nature is committed against a woman here. Those are the statistics.

In 2011, 8,000 women received support from domestic violence services in Ireland. That's an increase of 15pc on the previous year. Here's another statistic.

Four out of every five women seeking help from a domestic violence centre in Dublin are turned away because the service is already full. Globally, one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.

Every time there's a 'Women's' event to highlight these facts and numbers, the cynics come crawling out of the undergrowth.

The men whinging about why they aren't included, the women who agree with them and the feminazis who claim that men shouldn't dare have an opinion on anything at all to do with women.

If they were in anyway intuitive, they'd understand that One Billion Rising is not a women versus men issue. In the same way that International Women's Day isn't either. That's just myopic.

One Billion Rising is a global demonstration that took place yesterday calling for an end to violence against women. Women in Listowel, Tralee, Tipperary, West Cork, Mayo, Sligo and cities across the country took part.

Of course it doesn't mean that they were anti-male. It means that they understand that domestic violence and rape against men is still in the minority compared to women.

If you're a man reading this article, you should be relieved that these things are being highlighted because you probably have a sister or daughter or mother who may be affected by this.

And if you feel that violence and rape against men isn't getting enough airtime or column inches, nothing is stopping you from organising a similar protest or flashmob event.

Abuse against women is now not just confined to behind doors. Safe Ireland, a group providing refuge for women who suffer domestic abuse, has spoken about the "the warped rationale of men who abuse out in the open".

It is the most under-reported, undocumented and unprosecuted crime in the country. The notion that your 'home' is not the safest place on earth for you is alien to most of us. But imagine if it wasn't. Imagine it was one of the most dangerous places you could be.

Demonstrations like One Billion Rising help to highlight the plight of women against whom violence and rape is committed. They help to remind us of the statistics.

Statistics such as, by the time the next hour is out, another woman in this country will have been raped or battered.

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