Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - EDITOR'S LETTER - Linda Ma­her

The is­sues of sex­ual as­sault and in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour have re­ally come to the fore­front in re­cent years, with the likes of the #MeToo move­ment and the What­sapp mes­sages in the Belfast rape trial chal­leng­ing peo­ple to re­ally think about the ef­fects on women of what is of­ten con­sid­ered ac­cept­able con­duct. It’s a truly won­der­ful thing that not only are peo­ple re­al­is­ing that at­ti­tudes and ac­tions have to change, but also that women are feel­ing em­pow­ered enough to speak up and say that some­thing is not ok. But men must not be for­got­ten in this move­ment. Many of them are vic­tims too. When peo­ple think about men as vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault, they al­most al­ways think of the per­pe­tra­tors as male too – in fact, women are not even legally recog­nised as ca­pa­ble of rape in Ire­land, ex­cept as ac­com­plices to men. But on

page 26, you’ll read about sev­eral cases of men who have been raped by women, stories which have been re­leased as part of a ground-break­ing study car­ried out in Eng­land – one of the first of its kind in the world. Even the ti­tle of the pa­per is the quite awk­ward – Forced-toPen­e­trate Cases – as most coun­tries don’t have a le­gal def­i­ni­tion for it, which seems ut­terly as­ton­ish­ing in this day and age. We have to recog­nise that vic­tims are vic­tims, no mat­ter their gen­der, back­ground or so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus. Each de­serves to be lis­tened to with­out judg­ment and to be of­fered help to re­cover, should it be needed. The Dublin Rape Cri­sis Cen­tre is an in­valu­able na­tion­wide re­source for any­one af­fected by these is­sues and can be found at On page 20, we meet our cover stars, the O’Neill sis­ters. They’ll be per­form­ing for thou­sands of peo­ple to­mor­row at the Pa­pal Mass in the Phoenix Park. They are a beau­ti­ful, tal­ented trio and have a wealth of stories al­ready from their at­tempts to break into the global mu­sic in­dus­try. Hope­fully this per­for­mance will be the one that pro­pels them on to the world stage – with the Pope’s bless­ing, of course. En­joy the is­sue!


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