• By Maria

Over the past week Irish society has yet again been shocked by further revelations of cover ups and omissions in the handling of disclosures of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop Chief Executive of the DRCC said : “ The past 10 years has seen the publication of the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports, all of which have validated the stories that have been told and heard in therapy rooms throughout the country. For the survivors of these heinous crimes the public acknowledgment of their stories has been very important and has helped so many on their journeys to healing.

The fact that:
We now have a Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald, who sits at the Cabinet Table equally with other Ministers
The fact that:
Children First Guidance is to be put on a statutory basis
The fact that:
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has brought forward the Heads of Bill for Withholding of Information with regard to Child Sex Abuse, all augur well for the preservation of childhood for the future children of Ireland.

However while shock and horror are expressed every time another revelation about the cover up of child sex abuse in Ireland in Church and State Institutions is headlined in our newspapers, on radio and television, very little thought is given to the consequences to the many survivors who are reading, listening to and looking at, these further revelations. Each time these crimes hit the headlines many more survivors have their memories triggered of abuse they suffered in their childhood and may be re-traumatised as a result and are in need of help and support.

The media has shown great courage in how it has continued to highlight these atrocities however it can fall short in providing the helplines that are available to listen, support and guide callers to the professional help that is available. To all editors and journalists please include the helplines and alert the National 24 hour helpline for victims of rape and survivors of child sex abuse, 1 800 77 88 88 when you are about to break another of these stories, so that we can provide the extra support that is needed at these very fraught and painful times for victims and survivors.

Each time child sex abuse is brought into the public domain the calls to the National Helpline escalates.”


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