October 31, 2019

Domestic violence – are we all guilty?

Jenny O'Gorman, 16

The press coverage of domestic violence is extensive and unrelenting – we are all exposed to accounts of emotional cruelty, battering and murder. My piece raises the crucial issue of how members of the public are often just gawping bystanders. Are we all responsible for allowing this injustice to continue?

I wanted to explore the theme of domestic violence in a family setting and to illustrate the harrowing impact it can have on a spouse and children when a marriage turns sour. In my story, I show what happens when human masks slip to reveal the predatory and vulnerable animals beneath the veneer.

The mother in my story bravely tries to pacify her abuser, to affirm her worth, and to protect herself and her children. Her protests are heard, but ignored, by the ineffectual neighbours.

Maybe in the future, we will focus on tackling the killer in our midst, rather than remaining paralysed, transfixed by the spectacle, hoping against hope that it will not end in tragedy.

Snarl, 2019Essay