One in Four have shared their annual report, revealing that the revelations of the recent sexual abuse in private schools prove that sexual abuse of children in Irish society is still an issue.
The sexual support abuse service have been ‘inundated with calls from men’ who have experienced abuse and are now sharing their experience, often for the first time.
In the service’s most recent annual review, they found that in 2021, they supported 673 men and women who had experienced sexual abuse in childhood, and 65 men who had caused sexual harm to children.
They delivered 2,398 individual and group psychotherapy sessions to 125 clients and met 56 people for a first assessment meeting.
Approximately 43% of clients were abused in their own family, with 37% of these clients being men.
The report found that Four in One’s advocacy case managers supported 492 survivors to engage with the criminal and civil justice systems and child protection services. They also accompanied 53 clients through criminal trials.
The 65 men who had caused sexual harm to children attended a prevention programme, which was designed as a core project to help keep children safe.
With increased access to the web, there are growing numbers of people that are accessing images and videos of child sexual exploitation. 48% of the service’s prevention clients had committed an online offence.
There was also an increase in younger offenders, with 7% aged between 18 and 25 years old.
The HSE, Tusla and the Department of Justice provided 75% of the funding to Four in One.
The CEO of One in Four, Maeve Lewis explained, “There are many factors that prevent children and adults disclosing experiences of child sexual abuse. Many believe they are the only person to whom this has ever happened and are paralysed by a sense of personal shame”.
“Others fear they will be disbelieved. Many are worried, often with good reason, that they will be ostracised by their families. When there is a major scandal and some survivors speak publicly then others are encouraged to come forward. But we must ask ourselves why it is so difficult?”.