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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

In Sisterhood with Ashling Murphy - End Violence Against Women

Members of the Industrial Workers of the World throughout the country have attended widespread solidarity vigils in memory of Ashling Murphy, a young woman brutally murdered in Tullamore, County Offaly.

Following today's solidarity actions a message of solidarity was released by the IWW Ireland Branch:

In Sisterhood with Ashling Murphy - End Violence Against Women #StopKillingUs

We have taken to the streets today again, as an answer to yet another deadly attack on a woman, angered at the silence and little regard given to such crimes within our society.

Ashling Murphy was out in the afternoon for a run at the canal in Tullamore when she was murdered. Not at night, not drunk, not dressed provocatively.

Attacks, rape and sexual violence need to be assessed as a social and political issue, not as mere incidents expected to be resolved by the police and the courts.

These acts of aggression are a reflection of an overall society built upon a sexist culture. Gender roles in society pressurise us to live according to social values, which are based on power and submission. Men are encouraged to maintain an attitude of supremacy and control whereas women are taught to be helpful and compliant. Consumerist adds, video games, reality shows, etc., often accept and even promote sexual violence and women as sexual objects.

These stereotypes aggravate the already existent inequality between men and women in society and often lead to unequal relationships especially amongst the young ones.

Furthermore this misogynous attitude is also reflected within the legal system. Rape within a relationship was only declared a crime within the last three decades, until then women in front of the courts were seen as a private property of a man and no consensus was needed.

The few women who find the strength to report and prosecute their attackers nowadays, are faced too many times with a justice system more concerned with provocative clothing, previous relationships and alcohol intake as determinant factors, a ‘she was looking for it’ sentence, blaming her and moreover denying women the right to their own bodies.

We must break the silence on the large amount of prejudice, inequality, suffering, lack of facilities that exists and the emotional scarring these attacks leave. We must talk about sexual violence as a malign social growth and not as just a women’s issue, it needs to be tackled at its roots, the same as sectarianism, racism, and homophobia for they all are consequences of a society based on social injustice.

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