FOUR REGIONAL COORDINATORS are to be appointed to services who deal with children demonstrating sexually harmful behaviour.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald confirmed the appointments today at the AGM of the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland.
It follows the publication of a major report by the organisation, which contained data confirming that sexual crimes differ in substantive ways depending on the age and gender of a child.
The study on child survivors of abuse found that children under age 13 are most vulnerable to sexual assault perpetrated by a male family member. Children 13 and over are most at risk from rape by a male non-family member at a location outside the home.
Minister Fitzgerald said the report showed that sexual abuse of children was “not just a historic issue” and that it highlights ”yet again that the horror of abuse remains part of the tragic experience of too many Irish children”.
Fitzgerald committed to a “coordinated national approach” to sexual abuse services for children and said the recruitment of the regional roles “delivers on a key recommendation of Ferns 5″.
The Ferns 5 Working Group was tasked with advising the HSE in the area of assessment and treatment for children, adolescents and adults who have exhibited sexually harmful behaviour. It completed its initial report in 2007.