SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has said that misogynistic social attitudes are fuelling domestic abuse.
A new report from Women's Aid explores the connection between domestic abuse and underlying misogynistic attitudes. It found that more than a third of UK adults believe domestic abuse is not a reflection of wider society but is instead the result of ‘bad people’.
The report also found that those who are less likely to recognise harmful behaviours are also less likely to believe that domestic abuse is the result of wider sexism in society.
Commenting on the report, Ms McLaughlin said:
“This report makes for very sobering reading. While domestic abuse is ultimately the responsibility of perpetrators, there can be no doubt that it is underpinned by dangerously prevalent misogynistic social attitudes and far too often people are not made aware of how sexist narratives and attitudes lead to a tolerance for domestic abuse in our society. This heinous crime is often thought of as comprised of isolated incidents instead of the escalation of harmful practices of coercive control which destroys women's lives. It is incumbent on all of us to redouble our efforts to ensure that more people understand that domestic abuse is a consequence of the gender inequality that still persists in our culture.
“We must combat the social attitudes that fuel abuse through greater education and awareness of the connections between these dangerous attitudes and patterns of abuse and I have challenged the Justice Minister on what steps she will be taking to act on the findings of this report. Domestic abuse can never be tolerated in our communities and I hope to see a concrete response from the Minister on this important issue.”