From: SMTP%"" 14-FEB-1995 15:05:46.52
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 09:10:05 -0800
From: Bob Dinan <>
Subject: NEWSLETTER-ICP-21: Project on Haras
Message-id: <>
Newsletter - ICP - Presents from its twenty-first issue:

A Project on the Harassment of Women

By Helen Harris & Eileen Healy, Common Ground, 10 February 1995

. . . when you're stopped by them and you're walking away, and oh, that fucking stuff's going on inside you and you don't know if you are angry or if you are going to cry, you don't know if you are going to explode, you don't know because you still think ‘what have I done, what have I done, what have I done?’

Young Derry republican woman.

This project is based in the Pat Finucane Centre. It aims to 1) document and publish the experiences of women who have suffered harassment by the security forces; 2) offer post-interview support for the women should they wish to avail of it; 3) facilitate the development of informal support networks as directed by the women themselves.

A central goal of the project is to highlight and contrast the situations of rural and urban women aged 16 to 75 who reflected a wide range of experience. All are from nationalist or republican backgrounds or now identify themselves with these communities. Most were harassed because of their perceived politics, all because they were women.

Fear in relation to what might happen to other family members is particularly acute for women. The security forces have consistently exploited this, threatening children and partners. Though very few of these threats were carried out, the resulting stress and worry has taken its toll.

Some of our interviewees had been arrested. All had had their children used against them in interrogation. Lines of questioning typically referred to the women's sexuality.

Their anger and fear remains; the security forces have yet to call a ceasefire. It would be wrong however to portray these women solely as victims All showed great humour and strength and an ability to fight back. They have informal ways of supporting each other but this is more difficult for rural women , who tend to be very isolated. As feminists we believe the relative invisibility of these women within their own communities continues to be an obstacle to their coming to terms with their experiences.

We are now at the transcribing stage. Funding permitting, we hope to publish the women's stories early next year. Funds are badly needed and donations would be most welcome. Please specify that donations are for the Women's Harassment Project.