Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has announced the party will bring forward a Private Member’s Bill in the Dáil next week outlining changes the government must implement to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The motion sets out key policies needed to ensure such crimes are prevented and to end tolerance of gender-based harassment and violence.
Speaking today, Teachta McDonald said:
“My thoughts are with Ashling Murphy’s family, her friends, her pupils and colleagues at school and the whole community in Tullamore who are facing unimaginable heartbreak. The entire country is reeling from this horrendous attack which has seen a woman’s life cut short.
“As we have seen at vigils across the country in recent nights, women and girls are deeply affected by this devastating attack and are united in their desire for change. We have seen an outpouring of grief and of women and girls across generations sharing their own stories of living in fear.
“Violence against women and girls, and the fear of it, is far too common and blights the lives of women and girls across the country. Harassment is the norm, not the exception. We have the right to be safe on our streets and in our homes. Yet too often, we are not.
“Violence against women is an epidemic in our society. This moment has to be a tipping point. This is an all of society problem that exists in our families, in our homes, in our communities and in our schools; right across society.
“This is a moment that requires political leadership. Now is the time for us to come together to say enough is enough. Sinn Féin are bringing a motion to the Dáil next week to stand with women and girls, and to call on the government to expediate the strategies, resources and funding needed to tackle and end violence against women.
“Crucial to this will be the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. The government must publish the strategy, and critically we need to see an integrated and fully resourced implementation plan.
“We urgently need better data on sexual, violent and gender-based crime in Ireland to measure the true scale. That is why we are calling for the implementation of a national database on domestic, sexual, gender-based violence and for the Department of Justice to expediate the Sexual Violence Survey which is not due to be completed until 2023.
“Tackling the inadequate sex, gender and sexuality education programmes for children and young adults must be prioritised. We are failing our girls and boys if we do not protect and educate them on harassment and consent.
“Women and girls have lived in fear forever. Enough is enough. As mothers, we will not allow our daughters to live in that same fear. As a society we will stand together and demand change.
“I am calling on all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion in the Dáil next week.”