News / Blog

Stephen Fry- Inform Yourself About The Lived Reality Of Child Sexual Abuse

April 12, 2016

You might have seen that recently, on a US chat show, Stephen Fry stated that sex abuse victims should "grow up" because self-pity is the "ugliest emotion in humanity". 

 

Here is what our Executive Director, Maeve Lewis has to say:

Stephen Fry seems like a nice guy – very clever, affable and charming.
 
I doubt if he intended his remarks about self-pity to cause survivors of child sexual abuse the intense hurt and distress that they have.  His flippant portrayal of the act of child sexual abuse, “your uncle touching you in a nasty place”, completely misrepresents the horror of the experience for child victims – the agonising physical assault, the betrayal of trust, the isolation, the shame and the guilt.
 
I wish he could hear some of the phone calls we have received today at One in Four.
 
Far from being self-pitying, most survivors of child sexual abuse chose not to tell. Rather than asking for sympathy, they blame themselves. They come to believe that it was something bad about themselves that provoked the abuse.
 
They struggle to get on with their lives, often trying to pretend the abuse never happened, to appear like everybody else. But underneath they are suffering, depressed, anxious and self-loathing.
 
Survivors marry, raise children and have work and social lives. But they also describe never being able to live life to the full. Crucially, many survivors never make the connection between the sexual trauma and their current anguish.
 
It is difficult to repress traumatic events indefinitely and at some stage something will trigger the survivor to reach out for help to an organisation like One in Four. The people we meet who come through our doors are not the self-pitying victims described by Stephen Fry.  They are courageous men and women who are willing to make the difficult journey through therapy.  
 
With support, they are prepared to revisit the sexual trauma and to begin to understand the impact it has had on their lives.  They are committed to disentangling themselves from the horrors of the past and to find a more positive way of living in the world.
 
So Stephen Fry, you need to think about what you have said.  You are an erudite man but clearly need to inform yourself, even a bit, about the lived reality of child sexual abuse.
 
Maeve Lewis
 
Executive Director
 
If you haven't seen Stephen Fry's comment, please click here.

Categories: General.

Big News! This Will Help More People!

March 31, 2016

You might be surprised to learn we only have 3 therapy rooms at One In Four.

With such a small amount of space and limited number of therapists, it means there are only so many victims of sexual abuse that we can meet with each week. It all comes down to funding.

Every day survivors of sexual abuse visit or phone us here at One In Four and ask for help. These are someone’s sister or brother - someone’s son or daughter - who have taken the brave step of asking for help. But too many of them will sit on our waiting list for too long.

The good news is that we've secured funding to change THREE therapy rooms in to FOUR! It means the One In Four therapists and our advocacy team can work with more victims of abuse.

The builders come in tomorrow...it'll take about a week, and we'll be sharing the progress on our Website, our Facebook and our Twitter. So exciting!

But this is just the start...

With an extra room we'll need more therapy hours, more phone calls, more legal advice, more tea and coffee, more everything. All of it to help more people.

Will you reach out to help one more person? Will you make a donation today?

Your donation - whatever you can afford - will go towards making sure each man and woman that reaches out will get the help that they deserve.

 

Our Rooms Before

 


If you would like help more survivors of sexual abuse there are several ways to make a donation to One In Four:

Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by signing up to donate monthly through MyCharity here.
 
On-Line
You can make a secure donation on-line here.
 
Cash or Cheques
Cheques can be made payable to One In Four Ireland and either posted or handed in to our office at 2 Holles Street, Dublin 2. There are envelopes available at reception.
 
Bank Transfer
BIC: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE21 BOFI 9014 9091 5014 67
Sort code: 90-14-90
Account no: 91501467

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Categories: General.

Behind The Scenes at One In Four…The Advocacy Team

March 24, 2016

 
 “I’ve just told my family.” “I want justice.” “I realise how much my life has been destroyed.” These are some of the phrases our advocacy team hear when a survivor of sexual abuse makes that first call to One In Four…but no two stories are the same.
 
All sorts of life events can trigger someone to call for the first time: a divorce, a death, a birth. One client carried around our phone number for 5 years before they contacted us. People might not always know how we can help them…just that their lives have been changed by sexual abuse and they want to do something about it.
Deirdre, Nicola, Damien and Frank are our Advocacy Team…daily they provide support and provide information to men and women all over the country who may want to engage in a legal process or have child protection concerns.
 
“A fear or experience of not being believed is a reality for many of the people we support,” says Deirdre. The Advocacy services are free and the team endeavour to respond to callers within 24 hours. 
 
Hundreds and hundreds of people engage our Advocacy team each year, and for some one phone call is enough. For others it can be the first step towards something else:  support in making a Garda statement, court accompaniment or just clear information on how the systems work or any other practicalities. 
 
“Sometimes callers genuinely don’t know what’s there…what’s available…how the system works,” says Damien.
 
Often the people will feel more comfortable to come in to One In Four…to meet an advocacy officer in person and to talk in more detail about the next steps.
 
‘’Every time we meet with someone for the first time we draw on the experience of thousands of past clients’’ says Nicola.
 
The advocacy officers work together with clients to explore options with a view to addressing their needs. And for many survivors of abuse that first meeting can be crucial: “For the first time I feel like I’m speaking to someone who gets it.’’
 
The relationship with our advocacy team can last years. Clients can be engaged with the legal system for many years.
 
“Very often we’re looking for a practical solution to an emotional problem. The legal process does not address the hurt a child may have experienced.’’  The advocacy service works closely with therapy services to ensure that all our clients’ needs are met. 
 
Last year the team worked with 663 clients…663 individuals with 663 stories.
For the Advocacy team, the focus is the client. The client remains at the centre of everything we do.
 
Frank says, “We often find ourselves explaining the reality of the law. This can be really difficult while still trying to looking after the emotional wellbeing of someone who has been abused.”
 
 “Often the harm that has been caused isn’t solved in the court room. Formal acknowledgment can help…but therapy is important.”
 
The last couple of years have seen an increased demand for services and support. We have experienced a higher frequency of calls, meetings  and more court cases.
Despite this increased demand, the challenge for the advocacy team is to provide a professional specialised service as soon as people get in touch and for as long as they need.
 
“It’s amazing…sometimes I’ll walk by a past client on the street and they don’t recognise me. They’re over that part of their lives. They’re in a different place. A better place.”
 

 
The advocacy team provides information, practical support, and an opportunity to explore your options in a safe way whatever your needs and goals are. We support men and women who have experienced sexual abuse and family members wishing to support relatives cope with the impact of their abuse. Phone 01 662 4070
 
 

If you would like help more survivors of sexual abuse there are several ways to make a donation to One In Four:

Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by signing up to donate monthly through MyCharity here.
 
On-Line
You can make a secure donation on-line here.
 
Cheque
Cheques can be made payable to One In Four Ireland and either posted or handed in to our office at 2 Holles Street, Dublin 2.
 
Cash
Cash donations can be made at our offices. There are envelopes available at reception.
 
Bank Transfer
BIC: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE21 BOFI 9014 9091 5014 67
Sort code: 90-14-90
Account no: 91501467

Categories: General.

Big Impact, Small Budget

March 15, 2016

 

We are delighted to announce that One in Four has been shortlisted for the ‘Big Impact, Small Budget Award’ from Fundraising Ireland.  The project is our ‘Sponsor a Day’, where business and individuals alike get to donate money to help us keep our doors open for an entire day. If you would be interested in taking part, contact the fundraising team on 01 6624070.

The awards recognise the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of fundraisers, volunteers and organisations. They celebrate fundraisers’ hard work and successes across the year, provide an opportunity for acknowledgement by your peers and promote the role of fundraisers in improving our society.

We are truly honoured to be nominated for the award, and we wish the best of luck to everyone taking part!

Categories: General.

Remembering Christine Buckley

March 10, 2016
 
Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the death of institutional abuse campaigner Christine Buckley.
 
Maeve Lewis said, “She was instrumental in persuading the Government to apologise to survivors and to set up the Ryan Commission to examine conditions in the residential institutions.
 
"Christine campaigned tirelessly and fearlessly for compensation and for services for the survivors of the institutions.”
 
“She was not afraid to confront senior politicians and religious leaders about their failures and to insist that they meet their obligations to survivors.”
 
"Ireland is a better place because of Christine."
 
 
The Anniversary Mass to commemorate Christine Buckley will take place at St.Mary's Pro-Cathedral on Friday March 11th 2016 at 5.45pm.
 
Survivors, volunteers, and supporters, as always are most welcome to attend.  At 5.15 p.m. groups of families, relatives, survivors, friends, volunteers, and supporters will all walk together from the Centre for Aislinn Education and Support.
 

Categories: General.

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