Coercive control laws laid bare as ‘Nicola’ and ‘Sinead’

There is no woman or man who hasn’t read the court case that hit the headlines this week while trembling with shock from the trauma of Garda Paul Moody’s ex-girlfriend.

Oodi was sentenced last week to three years and three months for coercive control.

There have been several such cases over the years, but the details of the trauma of a woman, known as ‘Nikola’ for the case, in court this week shocked women and many men across the country as well. Have given.

Just days later, another story emerged, this time the horror Sinead O’Neill faced during his six-week relationship with Dean Ward. She was forcibly restrained, raped and assaulted at the hands of Dean Ward.

The stories of both women are indicative of what can happen behind closed doors; No one knows this is happening, and the fear with which victims in these cases live on a daily basis is unimaginable.

The terrifying details outlined by ‘Nicola’ and Sinead describe how a seemingly loving relationship turned into a living nightmare, and the two have been the subject of conversation among many of my female friends this week.

We have talked about how an attractive looking man can be your worst enemy.

In both cases the women were looking to meet someone to share their lives with but their relationship took a terrible turn. In Nicola’s case, she was abused for four years by Paul Moody, who subjected her to a horrific ordeal as she battled a terminal cancer diagnosis. Sinead’s case brought about her six weeks of hell.

Safe Ireland describes coercive control as “a persistent and deliberate pattern of behavior by an abuser over a long period of time designed to achieve obedience and instill fear.” This is what both men did in these cases.

Evidence in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Mr Moody, who had been a member of the En Garda Siochana over four years, had sent more than 30,000 messages that were described in court as threatening, despicable and abusive.

Over a period of 14 hours in July 2018, she alone sent him 652 messages, one every 90 seconds. She wanted to take her own life and was ashamed to allow him to treat her the way she did, the court was told.

The woman was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, but she not only had to deal with the disease, but also some of the worst abuse one could imagine.

Despite all that she endured, she bravely spoke about it, when she delivered a 280-page statement to Gardai after receiving messages on Mr. Moody’s phone from another member of the force. After finding these messages, this Garda contacted him.

It is hard to imagine how difficult it was for him to face his assailant in court, but he should be commended for his bravery in doing so and his bravery in exposing his ‘bad behaviour’. So should the bravery of Sinead O’Neill, who approached Gardai after coming up with a plan with his boss to help him escape.

It is not easy for any woman to speak out about this type of behavior, and there can be no criticism of them, which is the hardest thing anyone can be asked to do. But, hopefully, the coverage of these cases will give hope to women.

Moody is now serving three years and three months for his four-year campaign. Given the nature of the abuse and the abusive and degrading messages sent to ‘Nicola’, the matter has been more than worrisome, but it has also shed light on ‘coercive control’ and what could and could have happened in homes across Ireland. Is. The fact that he was also a member of the force that the public turns to for safety cannot be ignored.

Sinead’s story is as horrifying as it is, given the messages, abuses and attacks he has faced; Incidents that set him apart from everyone else.

Since January 2019, coercive control has been a crime in Ireland and now, just three years later, we are seeing how important it is to introduce such laws.

These cases have shed light not only on the horrifying reality faced by women in abusive relationships, but also on the support these women need to survive those relationships.

The lack of asylum sites across the country has been highlighted before. It has been reported that there are only 140 such places available despite Ireland needing around 500. More spaces are also needed in Kerry, where the Kerry Women’s Asylum Adapt, is seeking permission for a new building to cater to the growing number of women. Ask for their help. These services must be provided; If the court cases this week tell us anything, they tell us.

They tell us how important the law is and how important the services around it are. We must ensure that women can go elsewhere when needed, and having adequate shelter is just one aspect of this. We have much more to do, but we can start by providing services to help women who find themselves at the mercy of evil.