47% of the 10,155 genuine counselling calls received by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s (DRCC) 1 800 77 88 88 National 24 Hr. Helpline in 2007, were from the Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Monday, December 8th, 2008

RTE 1 is screening two programmes tonight, Scannal at 7.30p.m. and Eastenders at 8.00p.m., both dealing with the horrendous crime of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Eastenders has been running with a story line about a young girl who is being abused by her mother’s live in lover and who is grooming another young girl for the same purpose, now that the first girl is going to be 16.

Scannal looks at the case of Barbara Naughton, who very bravely and courageously waived her right to anonymity, when in 2001 it transpired that the then Junior Minister for the Environment Bobby Mulloy, had interfered in her case, by phoning the Judge dealing with the case, Justice Philip O’Sullivan. Justice O’Sullivan rightly refused to take the call and when he was sentencing Ms. Naughton’s father who was found guilty of raping and sexually abusing her as a child, he referred to the call from Minister Mulloy which rightly, precipitated Mr. Mulloy’s resignation.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) said: “The DRCC’s Annual Report shows that nearly half of the clients currently contacting and attending the centre have been the victims of childhood sexual abuse. This is a crime which still permeates our society way beyond anything that we can imagine.

We have learned over the past couple of days that the scale of people accessing child pornographic sites and downloading horrendous images, is much wider than anything that was initially anticipated. We have to ask ourselves as a society, why is this crime still haunting us? Why do people not realise that these images on the net are of real children, just like our own children and grandchildren and have been subjected to the most degrading, cruel and inhuman pain? Can we be sure that they are not children we know? When will we as a society be proactive in protecting our children? When will we hear from the All Party Committee which was charged with coming back to us in November of this year with a consensus on Child Protection and Children’s Rights? Barbara Naughton as an adult thankfully was able to look after herself and got Justice but no one looked after her as a child.

In the light of these two programmes which are being screened tonight, the DRCC wants to remind anyone whose own memories might be triggered by these programmes, that help is available. The 1 800 77 88 88 is the National 24 hour Number for anyone who has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse and rape. There is always a trained person at the end of the line and with the help that is available you can come through this. If you are a family member or a friend who knows someone who has been a victim of this crime you can also call to get the advice you might need to help your family member or friend.”

For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

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