25th November to 10th December marks the annual 16 Days of Action campaign aiming to raise awareness of violence perpetrated against women. This year’s theme is Change the Conversation and it will hopefully highlight what needs to improve in order to ‘increase safety and protection from abuse,’ as well as challenging the victim blaming-culture that disgracefully exists in this country.
And so readers, last week, as I sat preparing my annual Christmas gift hamper for a brave mammy who, through no fault of her own, is planning to spend Christmas in the sanctuary of a Women’s Refuge, I was sick to my stomach at the plamas-ing levelled at so-called ‘A list’ actor Mel Gibson during his guest appearance on The Late Late Show alongside Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and John Lithgow. For God’s sake folks, has someone deleted the cookies that stored Gibson’s historical wife-beating charges from our brains? In case they have…let me remind everyone.
Back in 2011, Gibson, according to USA Today (and other media outlets) ‘pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanour spousal battery of his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.’ At the time, he was sentenced to three years’ probation, domestic violence counselling and two days of community service. He completed the terms, and in 2014, the sentence was vacated in a Los Angeles court. However, Grigorieva had claimed Gibson punched her “more than once” in 2010, allegedly ‘breaking her tooth, knocking out a veneer and giving her a concussion,’ revealing “I thought he would kill me.”
Back then Gibson, (referring to a portion of a leaked tape where he allegedly appeared to acknowledge he’d battered the mother of his baby…and more), pathetically attempted damage control by…yeah, you’ve guessed it…blaming his victim. Keeping his comments focused on her behaviour rather than his own despicable wrong-doings, the coward of the county (Longford links as it happens), allegedly wretchedly whinged, “It’s not like I knocked her out” – and all this while his victim was holding their baby. Delightful individual.
And yet, bizarrely, Gibson is deemed the perfect choice to cast as a grandfather in the big budget Christmas family movie…Daddy’s Home 2…not! Seriously folks, is this latest move by Hollywood symptomatic of the world’s inappropriate, appalling and unapologetic mistreatment of battered and abused women? It certainly appears to be Ireland’s and RTE’s approach; why else would they give this toxic abuser the red carpet treatment?
I tell ya Mel, a handsome face, a wink, a smile and an Irish mammy who called you “Mel Colmcille Gibson after two churches in Longford,” won’t erase your past offences or redeem you in my eyes. In my opinion you’re charmless, you’re irrelevant and your ‘no contest’ plea tells me you’re a pathetic wife-beater.
Will home care scheme be equitable and fair for all?
The proposed government backed scheme whereby elderly people will face a means test, forcing them to make a financial contribution towards their home help, is causing some controversy; and rightly so. However, (playing devil’s advocate here), the benefits will lead to a statutory requirement that those who need care will have to receive a certain minimum amount of hours each day as an entitlement, and sure that’s got to be a positive move.
We know the system as it stands isn’t working; and sure it’s a bit of a postcode lottery, isn’t it? I mean, for example, if you’re a vulnerable or elderly person living in a rural blackspot in this county, with no family to care for you other than say an hour a day’s home help, well, that’s just not good enough. Nor is it acceptable for you to be placed on a waiting list, so hopefully this new system will improve your level of care.
We have an ageing population in Roscommon so it’s a good thing the State is finally planning for this, especially for seniors who want (and have a right) to stay in their own homes. However, the devil is in the detail, and we must know how the government will measure the cost, what system they’ll use, how they’ll draw comparisons and if they’ll look to other EU countries for guidelines…and importantly, will this new proposed scheme be fair for all. I’ll be keeping my eye on it for you readers.
Beware Killer Grandparents
The boffins at the University of Glasgow have had a breakthrough and suddenly my role on this earth makes sense…woo hoo…I’ve been put here, along with other doting grandparents to, er, harm our grandchildren!
Yes, apparently the worst thing about getting older is not the stiff joints, nor is it the grey hairs, nay, it’s the fact we’re clearly deemed to be so moronic, we’re now being maligned as ‘indulgent’ and ‘misinformed’ eejits who use unhealthy ‘food as an emotional tool,’ to get our grandkids to love us! Hmmm, somehow I didn’t see myself as an evil chocolate-pushing baddie who insists my granddaughter wears ‘I love Nana’ t-shirts in return for her junk food fix! Thanks for setting me straight –and by the way, boffins are boring; grandparents are fun!
* Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline Ph: 1800 341 900. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.