Social Democratic and Labour Party Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA has said that the murder of 22-year-old Ashling Murphy in broad daylight as she was out for a jog is frightening and has had a chilling effect on women across Ireland.
Minister Nichola Mallon said that many women across the island feel like they are unsafe from the threat of violence in their own communities.
Speaking today, the North Belfast MLA said:
“My heart is breaking for Ashling Murphy’s family today. She had her whole life ahead of her, a new graduate with so many talents, a great love of music and so much to offer her friends, family and community. Ashling was robbed of that opportunity and our society has been robbed of the positive contribution she no doubt would have made.
“What makes this murder so frightening is the casual violence in broad daylight in an area busy with people out for exercise. This could have been any woman so it represents an attack on every woman. If a young girl can’t go out for a jog in the middle of the day in an area surrounded by people, then where can women feel safe?
“Too many policy makers just don’t understand how oppressive this environment is for so many people. They don’t understand what it’s like to be afraid walking home in the evening or to worry about who is around when you’re alone in public places. That’s not the kind of Ireland that I want for my children.
“We need to take the plague of violence against women seriously. Even in Belfast today, there is a threat of closure hanging over our only female-only homeless accommodation for vulnerable women. Government needs to get serious about the environment that has been created for women and the kind of society we have created.”