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What If Your Child Was One In Four?


What If Your Child Was One In Four?  

This week the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. was at the launch of the One in Four’s Annual Report 2015. One in Four is a charity that was established in 2002 by Colm O’Gorman to help fight sexual abuse one in four children in Ireland end up experiencing before their 18th birthdays.

Research has shown that 27% of women and men in Ireland have experienced some form of sexual abuse. Most victims are abused inside the family, followed by clerical and institutional (27%), community (195), professionals (7%) and then strangers (2%) abusing them in childhood.

The Report reads that the One in Four charity helped 650 advocacy clients last year in matters of the court. They also provided 2,500 psychotherapy hours to over 100 clients. “I understand that each client gets at least 20 hours to help ease the trauma of the abuse that they suffered,” the Minister said in her speech at the launch.

The Minister also discussed the Phoenix Programme that “works with sex offenders, their families and statutory services to help offenders confront the harm that they have caused”. The Programme is there to support them in their living lives so that they can live lives free from sexual harmful behaviour.

“I am sure this initiative is protecting children across the country today and will help to ensure that future children will not have to endure the suffering of shame, isolation and self-blame that is all too real for victims of sexual abuse until they receive assistance from organizations such as yourselves.”

The Minister who used to be a former social worker, an advocate and campaigner for the rights of women, and former Minister for Children, moved the Second Stage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses) Bill 2015 last week in Dáil Eireann.

The Bill has made provisions to combat child pornography and the sexual grooming of children.It also updates the laws in relation to incest and indecent exposure and amendments to the Criminal Evidence Act 1992 for victims of sexual offenses were also made.

One of the measures to protect victims of sexual offences that has been made is the introduction of harassment orders that will prevent convicted offenders from contacting someone that they have harmed.

The Bill also criminalises the purchase of sexual services the Minister said, “I am convinced that these provisions are necessary to tackle the exploitation associated with prostitution. The Bill will introduce a number of new offences which will see recruiting or causing a child to participate in a pornographic performance becoming a specific offence.”

“All of us here today know that child pornography is increasingly a technology-enabled crime and we must identify and combat new means of disseminating this form of child abuse material.”

“To that end, the Sexual Offences Bill will introduce a specific offense of attending a pornographic performance involving a child. Very importantly, attendance is defined in the Bill as including viewing a live feed by means of information and communication technology,” the Minister concluded.

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