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Will You Help A Man Or Woman Like Georgina This Christmas?

December 3, 2014

“It took me 10 years to finally realise I couldn’t get better or
move on and have a real life without someone’s help.”

Every day someone like Georgina walks through our doors.

Abused, more often than not, by someone they know and trusted. Traumatised. Confused. And when they take the brave decision to reach out, they need someone there for them.

But right now, there are still dozens of men and women like Georgina on our waiting list. You can be there for them. With a generous gift of €50 you can give the help and the support they need.

As Georgina explains, "I was terrorised and entrapped as a child against my will. Much of my adult experience of life had at its core terror and anxiety.”

“In my darkest hours I thought there was absolutely no way through. I believed that happy endings were for others and that the pain, terror and anxiety I felt were just too difficult to work through.”

“However, there is a way through and I am living proof of that.”

“I availed of One in Four’s group therapy. I met some very courageous people in the group. I took heart from hearing that other people’s experiences were similar to my own. With the help of professional psychotherapists, I was able to express my feelings and memories associated with abuse."

Asking for help can be the hardest thing in the world.

You have probably experienced that in your own life. Sometimes we all need help, but it can be difficult to ask. Do you remember ever feeling too scared to ask? Do you remember feeling embarrassed? Do you remember the fear that you would be ignored?

Every day survivors of sexual abuse visit or phone us here at One In Four and ask for help. And thanks to support from people like you, they will get help.

Now I’m writing to ask you for help.

You helped someone before. Will you do it again?

Will you reach out to help one more person? Will you make a very generous donation of €50 today?

Right now there are so many people on our waiting list – men and women who are suffering every day because of the sexual abuse and violence they experienced as a child.

Will you give them that help this Christmas?

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 – because we cannot afford to see them all right now.

        Your donation of €50, or whatever you can afford, will go towards making sure each man and woman that reaches out will get the help that they deserve.

 “The very bad things that happened to me aren’t gone and can’t be forgotten. But they can be understood and accepted.”

“I am now living my life rather than suffering it.
The memories are becoming just that…memories.”

        Your Christmas gift will give survivors of sexual abuse like Georgina the help and support they need to function, live and hope again.

        You will change someone’s life.

        You will help someone live again.

        You’ve been so generous in the past with your support for survivors of sexual abuse. And because of you there is a man or woman beginning to see light where there once was darkness. Because of you there is hope.

        Please. Please click here and make a donation today.

        Thank you so much for reading this far. I hope you and your loved ones will have a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Scriver
Head of Fundraising
One In Four Ireland

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Categories: General.

Have We Learned Nothing About Child Sexual Abuse?

November 13, 2014

The Dail debate yesterday on the sexual abuse of Mairia Cahill highlights yet again the enormous challenges facing survivors of child sexual abuse in this country in accessing support and justice. That yet again it took the decision of a remarkable, courageous survivor to speak publicly about her ordeal to force our political leaders to confront the reality of sexual abuse in Irish society.

Executive Director Maeve Lewis says: “ The story unfolded in a manner with which we are now familiar: the initial denial by Sinn Fein leadership that they had previous knowledge of Mairia Cahill’s abuse, followed by the drip feed of information and then the tardy acceptance of the veracity of the survivor’s account of events.   Mairia Cahill has described how distressing this process has been for her, but it has also caused immense suffering to other survivors of abuse, regardless of the context in which that happened.  People have been phoning One in Four describing their intense suffering as memories of their own abuse are retriggered.”

“This underlines the need for each one of us to take responsibility for information that we become aware of regarding a risk to children and to pass that information to child protection services and to the Gardaí. The reality is that one in four Irish people experience sexual violence, and that cycle will continue until we intervene decisively. It is only five years since the entire country was appalled by the revelations of institutional abuse in the Ryan Report and there have been a number of high profile Reports since then.  The common theme across all the Reports and in Mairia Cahill’s account is that people knew and failed to take appropriate action, compounding the survivors’ hurt. “

“It may be useful to hold an Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children within the Republican movement.  However, we need to be careful not to put undue pressure on other survivors to come forward if, as it appears, many of them are frightened to do so.  But what is equally important is that we take a decision in this country to finally prioritise the protection and well-being of children.  Despite all the handwringing at every level, we still do not have a well-resourced child protection service.   Services for children who have been recently abused are almost non-existent and services for adult survivors struggle to meet the needs of people seeking help in a timely way.”

Maeve Lewis ends: “As we approach the centenary of 1916, we will have little to celebrate if we are not cherishing the children of the State but actually accepting on-going sexual abuse.  Have we learned nothing?”

You can help survivors of sexual abuse by making a donation here.

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Categories: Press Releases.


July 23, 2013




Child Protection and the Counsellor / Psychotherapist

New legislation will introduce mandatory reporting of child abuse to Ireland for the first time shortly.  This one day training course is designed for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adult survivors of child sexual abuse and explores the impact of mandatory reporting on their work.


The course addresses:

·         A review of the new legislation

·         Reporting to the statutory authorities

·         Introducing the concept of mandatory reporting to clients

·         Exploring the impact of mandatory reporting on the therapeutic relationship.

The course is facilitated by experienced One in Four staff therapists and advocacy officers.

The course is available to groups or organisations and to individuals.


Further details from Margaret at 01 6624070 or

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Categories: General.

Voting Yes in the Children’s Referendum

November 9, 2012


Voting Yes in the Children’s Referendum

Tomorrow we will vote on the Children’s Referendum.  It may be the most important vote any of us get a chance to cast in our lifetimes.  I will be voting “Yes”.

Every day at One in Four we meet men and women who were sexually abused as children, most of them in their own families.  We see the suffering they have endured throughout their lives as a result.  Many of them tried to tell about the abuse when it was happening but nobody listened and the abuse went on.  Is this really what we want for our children now and for children in the future?

We all know that a loving family is the best place for a child to grow up, and for most children that is what they experience.  But for some children, sadly, the family is the most dangerous place in the world.

If the Referendum is passed, the best interest of the child will have to be at the centre of all decisions concerning them in relation to child protection, custody, access and adoption.  The State will only be able to intervene in exceptional circumstances when there is a serious risk to the child.  And the State will also be obliged to provide support to families who are struggling before it gets to the point where children would be taken into care.  It is likely that fewer rather than more children will come into care as a result.  But those who really need it will be protected.

In Ireland children have been sexually abused in their families, neighbourhoods, parishes and in the residential institutions while in the care of the State.  We all know what can happen behind closed doors if children are silenced.  In many cases neighbours and professionals suspected something was wrong but felt helpless to act.  This Referendum will help to ensure that the voice of the child must be taken into account when decisions are being made about them.  We must never again have a situation where children are not heeded when they try to tell us about abuse.

The barrister Geoffrey Shannon said recently that if this Referendum, fails, we will go back 100 years in our child protection system.  If you have read the Kilkenny Incest Report or the Ryan Report  or the Roscommon Report – do you really want to maintain that system?  Vote Yes on Saturday and help to put our shameful past behind us.

Maeve Lewis

November 9th 2012




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Categories: General.

A Day to Celebrate 19th September, 2012

September 19, 2012

A Day To Celebrate




Today is a day to celebrate.  For everybody who has suffered in childhood, for parents, for all the people who work with and for children, we should remember September  19th 2012.  After twenty years of talk and promises, the wording for a children’s referendum has finally been published

The wording published today is robust but balanced.  It places the best interest of the child at the heart of all decisions regarding a child’s welfare and protection, and ensures that where appropriate, the child’s views will be taken into account in making those decisions. We are especially pleased that the wording contains the word “shall” rather than “may”, which will create an imperative for the Courts or any other agencies to consider always what is best for the child.“

Children of married parents who are in long-term care with no possibility of reconciliation with their families will be given a second chance of belonging to a loving family through adoption.

Some people have been concerned that a constitutional change would allow the State interfere unduly in family life.  These fears should be allayed today.  The State can only intervene in exceptional cases in a manner proportionate to the extent to which the safety or welfare of the child is at risk.

Reports going back twenty years have exposed the dark side of Irish society and have questioned our fondly held belief that Ireland is a good place to be a child.  At One in Four we work with men and women who were raped and sexually assaulted when they were children and whose lives have been devastated.  Most were sexually abused in their own families.  In many situations the abuse could have been stopped or prevented if only adults had acted.  I believe that if passed this Referendum will help to ensure that the learning from the terrible Reports will be put into practice and that we will create a culture where every adult knows that they are responsible for the wellbeing every child.   

Of course for this to happen we have to make sure that the referendum will be passed.

Maeve Lewis

Executive Director



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Categories: General.

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