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Child sexual abuse support group reports continuing high demand for services

Last year, over 900 people sought the services of One in Four which seeks to help adult survivors of child sexual abuse in Ireland.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, Chairperson of One in Four, Dr Jane Pillinger and Chief Executive of One in Four Maeve Lewis pictured at the publication of the group's annual report yesterday.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, Chairperson of One in Four, Dr Jane Pillinger and Chief Executive of One in Four Maeve Lewis pictured at the publication of the group's annual report yesterday.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

DEMAND FOR SUPPORT for survivors of childhood sexual abuse remains high according to the support group One in Four.

Launching its annual report yesterday, One in Four said a total of 931 adult survivors of child sexual abuse sought its help in some shape or form last year.

The group said that 182 people sought counselling whilst 749 people sought help in dealing with Gardaí, the Health Service Executive or in going to a criminal trial.

In addition to this the group said that 21 sex offenders were treated on the sex offender treatment programme, over half of whom admitted to abusing children in their own families.

A total of 23 families affected by sexual violence were also supported.

Of the 182 clients who attended for individual and group counselling, nearly half of those said they were abused in their families, over a quarter in the Catholic Church and 34 per cent by family friends, neighbours and professionals.

Two per cent said they had been abused by a stranger.

Forty-five per cent of the 749 people who sought out the advocacy support programme said they were abused in the Catholic Church with 17 per cent saying the abuse was carried out within their families.

Responding to the findings, the executive director of One in Four, Maeve Lewis, welcomed what she believed was a “positive time” for child protection given the government’s commitment to putting in place what she called “robust child protection measures”.

She added: “We have the opportunity to create a workable, effective system in which the needs of victims and the protection of children are both attended to.

“This will only happen if all organisations can work together with the statutory services to create a society where children are safe from sexual abuse.”

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Hugh O'Connell

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