Why did it take years to come out and disclose what happened to us?
But when we were being abused we felt we did something wrong. It made us feel dirty. We thought it was our fault.
We couldn't talk about it because we didn't know how to explain, we didn't really know what it was, so we hid it. As a young child you feel guilty about what has happened and you don't want to tell anybody.
Just imagine what it is like for a child who has been sexually abused - they don't know how to tell.
And it's a dirty secret.
So of course it takes years. It is very, very difficult to come out and disclose to somebody.
It is hugely important that we have One In Four – an organisation that helps victims. Please click here now and make a donation today.
You will find skilled and knowledgeable advocates to support you in dealing with the practical aspects of the aftermath of abuse. You’ll find therapists working to protect children through individual, group and family programmes. There is someone there for you.
You are in a very, very difficult time of your life. It's very important to know that you will be believed. That you will be listened to. That you will be supported.
I know it is very difficult to make that phone call. It is equally difficult when somebody at the other end of the line says that they cannot help you today.
This is what’s happening right now. Right now there is a waiting list for therapy at One In Four.
The people in One In Four who offer services to people like me are tremendous. They put their heart and soul in to their work. They give their heart and soul to the people that attend the office. And it is heart-rending to tell somebody who is in dire need of being able to talk to somebody that you can't see them at the moment.
They know the possible effects on the person at the other end of the phone.
Thank you so much for making One In Four possible. I am one of the people who have had a very long road…but I am only one. I am not the only one. There are hundreds of people – thousands – all over the country and I can tell you that without fail before the end of this week there will be many more new calls to One In Four from men and women like you and me.
At Christmas it is especially important that we are all there for each other. And especially important that survivors have a place like One In Four to turn to.
After so many years of being in contact with One In Four it is my privilege to write to you today and ask for your support. Please join me this Christmas in supporting One In Four. Will you make a donation today?
Finally let me finish by saying ‘Thank You’ and ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’. On behalf of One In Four, and on behalf of the men and women that they work with…thank you.
on behalf of One In Four Ireland