DEPUTY Johnny Mythen lent his support to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) at an innovative event at Leinster House.
We were part of a group of TDs and Senators who took part in a special star weaving ‘jam’ session organized by the One Million Stars Ireland project and Amber Women’s Refuge, Kilkenny.
One Million Stars Ireland is an inclusive arts project that connects communities across Ireland in solidarity against domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
Each eight-pointed star represents light, hope and solidarity against DSGBV, while promoting the eight points of the National Healthy Love in Relationships Project.
Individual star weavers and weaving groups from Wexford and 19 other counties have already woven over 150,000 stars since the launch of the project in Ireland and the youngest star weaver is five, while the oldest to date in at 89.
Stars were staged in displays across the country designed to spread love and hope for a future free of violence and abuse for all in Ireland.
The project was introduced to Ireland in 2019 and is nationally coordinated by art therapist, Siobhan McQuillan, in collaboration with Amber Women’s Refuge, Kilkenny.
The initiative is part of the global One Billion Stars project, founded in Australia in 2012 by artist Maryann Talia Pau.
She founded the project after the rape and murder of an Irish woman, Jill Meagher, in Melbourne.
A spokesperson for One Million Stars Ireland, said the Oireachtas Star Weaving Jam was an opportunity for Oireachtas members to show their support for victims of DSGBV in Ireland.
“The One Million Stars Ireland project is unique in bringing together domestic violence services and community organizations across Ireland to create a visual representation of their solidarity against gender-based violence by weaving an eight-pointed star,” said she declared. Over 150,000 stars have already been displayed across the country.
“The project has been particularly successful in reaching out to vulnerable, isolated and marginalized members of our society,” said Siobhan McQuillan, project manager at One Million Stars Ireland.
“One in four Irish women and one in seven Irish men will experience intimate partner abuse in their lifetime,” she said.
“One in two women murdered in Ireland is murdered by an intimate partner,” she added.
Individuals and groups in Wexford can register as star weavers by logging on to www.onemillionstarsireland.ie