The police commissioner said men are not sufficiently engaged in talking about domestic violence, serious sexual assault, and what makes for a “healthy and healthy relationship.”
Drew Harris said this evening that the scale of violence against women and children was “concerning” and that the Internet had opened up “all extremes” to people inclined to seek it out.
Speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Wexford Commissioner Harris said he is aware of the scale of violence in the community due to the reports he receives every day.
He said, “A lot of it is directed at vulnerability, a huge amount of violence is directed against women, I must say, and also towards children, and that worries me.
“And these are the things that I’ve tried to focus on in terms of making sure that we have specialized resources to deal with child abuse, to deal with domestic violence, to deal with serious sexual abuse, but also to deal with online abuse, especially online child abuse as well” .
The commissioner was speaking during a public interview, named The Noel Whelan Interview, by the Kennedy Summer School in honor of the late attorney, political commentator, and founder of the event.
The interview was conducted by Sinéad McSweeney, Vice President of Global Public Policy and Philanthropy with Twitter, former Director of Communications with An Garda Síochána and wife of the late Noel Whelan.
Commissioner Harris told her and the audience at St. Michael’s Theater in New Ross that the Internet “has opened up a whole world for people that was not accessible 20 or 30 years ago and is now readily available.”
“All the extremism is on the internet and it can be found relatively quickly and I worry about that because then you see the consequences of what is going on online at the time, in fact, in terms of the crime that we are dealing with and the incidents we are dealing with.”
The commissioner said this is a major change he has observed in his nearly 39 years of policing. “It’s just a spike in violence around vulnerability.
“It doesn’t mean that there was no domestic violence and there was no serious sexual assault – these things have always been with us. I’m just concerned about the impact of the internet and the availability of all the pictures around that.
“It’s something that’s so widespread and on every smartphone if one tends to look for it.”
Gardy, he said, has a “responsibility” to crime victims, both in their response to the crime and afterward.
“More and more, and certainly, infinitely more than I was when I was a policeman, sentinels on the ground have to be able to identify weaknesses, identify and handle situations appropriately, with great empathy in reality, and make sure they give the victim a great service and follow up on their needs in That specific time, which can also change and realize that.”
When speaking at events dealing with issues such as domestic violence and sexual assault, note that the audience tends to be “predominantly female,” he said.
“There aren’t enough men engaging in the conversation among themselves and with younger men about what’s out there on the internet, domestic violence and sexual violence.
“There aren’t enough men involved in the conversation about what a healthy and healthy relationship is and what isn’t.”
But he added, “Gradually, violence has become more and more unacceptable. The more we call it, the more unacceptable it becomes.”