Anger and outrage swept Ireland this week after the death of Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old teacher who was murdered while jogging. Citizens throughout the country were in shock that the attack happened in public and in broad daylight, with many people calling for Ireland to address issues regarding women’s safety.

The attack took place on Jan. 12 as the first-grade teacher was running along the Grand Canal in County Offaly, just an hour’s drive west of Dublin.

On the path around 4 p.m., often well-frequented by cyclists and runners, Ashling Murphy was strangled and killed in broad daylight. Police have since arrested Jozef Puska, a 31-year-old Slovakian man, and charged him with murder. No motive was revealed for the random attack, but the Slovakian suspect was known for previous “alcohol-related criminal offenses.”

Mounting public outrage has accompanied news of Puska’s arrest, with prominent leaders of women’s rights movements in the country speaking out about the dangers women face every day.

“The killing of Ashling Murphy in broad daylight, while out jogging, highlighted to us all that there is no behavior that women can change to make us safer, and that it is men’s behavior and ultimately our culture that must transform,” stated Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Ashling Murphy, the 23-year-old first-grade teacher killed while jogging in Ireland
Ashling Murphy, the 23-year-old first-grade teacher killed while jogging in Ireland. Photo Credit: Ashling Murphy / Twitter

The phrase “she was just going for a run” spread on social media posts after the jogger’s death, and public vigils were held in state parks. Many services included flowers, candles, and folk singers who were aware of Murphy’s talents as a fiddler.

Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland, and Prime Minister Micheál Martin, both attended Ashling Murphy’s funeral, which received national attention. Broadcast on television, the funeral depicted a crowd of people overflowing from the small church, as students from her first-grade class attended bearing flowers.

Mary McAuliffe, director of gender studies at University College Dublin, told The New York Times that these crimes are often “not about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Spending her career researching the history of violence against women, she said that for many, the shock from Murphy’s death was due to mostly to the location.

“As a woman you are just coming home from work, going out, living your life, and every moment can be your last,” she said.

In the United States this past week, two attacks on women waiting for public transportation received national attention, with many lawmakers and community activists raising awareness for violence against women.

Michelle Go, an Asian-American Deloitte employee, was killed when a random attacker shoved her in front of an oncoming subway train in New York City. That same week, a 70-year-old nurse in Los Angeles was hit on the head and fractured her skull on the concrete while waiting for a bus.

“There is legislation against hate crimes like racism, homophobia, transgender discrimination and sectarianism,” McAuliffe continued, “but misogyny is a gray area. There’s a continuum with street harassment at one end, and rape and lethal violence at the other end.”

Helen McEntee, Ireland’s justice minister, stated that she would pursue new laws to protect women following Ashling Murphy’s death, and called on legislation to outlaw gender-based harassment.

“We can only do so by changing our culture to ensure we are not all bystanders,” McEntree said in Parliament this week. “That we don’t just look the other way but call out inappropriate behavior when we see it, everywhere we see it–the workplace, the dressing room, the pub, the golf club and the WhatsApp group.”

“To prevent violence and abuse against women,” she added, “we must eradicate the social and cultural attitudes which make women feel unsafe.”