Its been a monumental week and to say that we can now perceive some profound changes in how the whole issue of sexual abuse in Ireland has been dealt with would to state the obvious.
From the broadcast of "Cardinal Secrets" on Prime Time on it has been clear that Irish public opinion has shifted even further towards an overwhelming desire to finally see action to address and acknowledge the extent of Clerical Sexual Abuse. Whilst the furore has been focused on the issue of clerical abuse there does seem to be some sense of a broadening of the issue to acknowledge sexual abuse in more general terms.
In meetings with Government Ministers this week One In Four worked to convey the real need to recognise that sexual abuse in Irish society was a reality that must be acknowledged beyond that perpetrated by clergy. In discussing the need for a new form of inquiry that could address failures in child protection and criminal law our Director, Colm O'Gorman, highlighted our concern that any form of inquiry should be able to adapt to examine concerns raised in any diocese, voluntary or public agency and institution. It should also be able to examine cases of familial abuse where there were suggestions that Child Protection systems or the Criminal Justice system had failed.
It was very encouraging to see this point addressed by The Minister for Health and Children, Micheal Martin and by opposition spokespersons and others. In the fututre we hope to see new workable and adaptable forms of inquiry that can inform the development of public policy and changes in Law where appropriate.
This site has once agin seen an upsurge in visitor numbers and we are delighted to see so many new members to our online community. The site continues to be an incredibly supportive and acknowledging place. In the coming weeks One In Four will see the opening of our new Dublin office. We expect to sign a lease on our premises in central Dublin in the next two weeks and look forward to this virtual community having a very real physical prescence in Ireland.
We have also been inundated with offers of support and help as well as countless messages of encouragement and well wishes. To all who have offered such support thank you. We cannot express how much your support has meant and how empowering such public and private support is to all of us working to address our experiences of abuse both on a personal and social level. Such support powerfully lays waste any suggestion that we should stay silent and ashamed, it helps us to find our voices and use them to support each other in finding ways to move through and beyond our experiences of abuse.
Thank you all.Posted by paul at October 26, 2002 05:52 PM