Suspected Child Abuse
constitutes child abuse?
Children have a right to enjoy their childhood
free from violence, injury or abuse at the hands of adults. This right is enshrined
in law, from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child down to national laws
Children can be subjected to a number of forms
- Neglect - where a child is deprived of food,
clothing, warmth, hygiene, stimulation or care.
- Emotional Abuse - where affection, approval,
consistency and security are withheld from a child.
- Physical Abuse - any form of injury to a child
which is caused deliberately, or which results from deliberate neglect to
protect the child.
- Sexual Abuse - when a child is used by an adult
for their gratification.
should I do if I suspect a child is being abused?
If you suspect that a child you know is being abused,
you should report your suspicions to the Gardai or to your local Health Board.
They will investigate any allegation of abuse thoroughly and sensitively.
I report abuse that took place long ago?
Criminal abuses that took place in the past can
be investigated by the Gardai if the abuser is still alive, as there is no statute
of limitation on such offences. You may wish to take legal advice from a solicitor
on how to go about this.
Any adult who was abused as a child should strongly
consider seeking counselling from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre - www.drcc.ie
- or from one of the rape crisis centres around the country.
Abuses which took place in the past in institutions
such as orphanages and industrial schools are now the subject of a Government
Commission which is due to report in 2002. The Commission on Child Abuse in
Irish institutions has begun its public hearings and will soon commence private
If you have ever lived in Ireland in an institution
such as a school, an industrial school, a reformatory school, an orphanage,
a hospital, a children's home or any other similar place including a foster
home, and were abused there, the Commission would like to hear from you.
The Commission on Child Abuse is currently seeking
statements from people who were physically, sexually, emotionally or psychologically
abused. It is important to note that these statements are not confined to people
who are currently living in Ireland.
People living in or outside of Ireland who were
abused should contact the Commission, whose address and telephone numbers are
Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
St Stephen's Green House,
Tel: (01) 662 4444
Callsave: 1850 20 11 20 (Rep of Ireland)
Lo-Call: 0845 3098 139 (NI and UK)
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