Hundreds of New Stories of Old Abuses of Children in Ireland 73 First Time Callers to the National 24 Hour Helpline in two hours
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Since the Report from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was launched on Wednesday, there has been a huge increase in the number of people contacting the National 24 hour Helpline 1 800 77 88 88, which is operated by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC).
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, DRCC Chief Executive, said “The telephone counselling room in the Centre was exceptionally busy over the last couple of days, as a result of the helpline number been made available on various television and radio programmes, as well as in the print media. People who needed to speak about their painful experiences as children, availed of the opportunity to speak to a trained counsellor. After the Prime Time Programme, 73 people spoke to counsellors between 9.30 and 11.30 on Thursday night.
The stories from adults, who have been able to speak for the first time since they were children, are extremely harrowing. However, at long last the cycle of silence has been broken in a public forum. The acknowledgement of, and the belief in the stories, has given people permission to speak without fearing that they will not be heard or believed. Their palpable pain and suffering will now have a chance to be healed but we must never forget what happened to our children. We must never let this happen again. We must be open to learning from what happened. We must ensure that policies and procedures are put in place, monitored and reviewed regularly, so that children will never again experience these abuses. These abuses have been part of our history and our past and that is where they now belong.
It is imperative that the recommendations of this report and the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Child Protection and Children’s Rights be implemented and that the adults who as children suffered so much, be given whatever support they need. “
For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618