News / Blog

The Media & Sexual Abuse - A Double-edged Sword

October 3, 2016
 
The media play an important role when it comes to sexual abuse. Especially investigative journalism.
 
There is no doubt the documentary ‘States of Fear’ and the work of Mary Rafferty led to the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s apology to the victims of abuse in these institutions. After the establishment of the Ryan Commission and the Residential Institutions Redress Board and the publication of these reports we witnessed an enormous expression of solidarity from the general public.  I have no doubt this was the start of a positive change in attitude to sexual abuse. These along with other examples have encouraged others to come forward.
 
Media coverage on court cases, reports and experiences of sexual abuse can encourage people to reach out for the first time. As a result, we experience a huge increase in calls and unfortunately this can mean we don’t have the resources to respond as soon as we would like.
 
Over the years the biggest influxes of calls have come as a result of both the Ryan and Murphy reports. More recently it has been familial cases that have come before the courts. People often relate to the stories these cases reveal.
 
While media coverage can encourage people, fear of media coverage can also inhibit people from coming forward.  Headlines and photographs can quickly trigger people. They evoke sadness, anger and often identify with darkness people have experienced.
 
The infamous photograph of Brendan Smyth outside the courts is still used by the media. Popping into your local newsagent to pick up milk and to be confronted with images of your abuser coupled with disturbing headlines will stir up a tsunami of emotion. Without the right support it can be incredibly isolating and disturbing.
 
People can also feel encouraged by media coverage as they can identify with the person’s experience. This identification can incite a feeling of belief and acceptance; belief that what happened to that person also happened to them.
 
This can evoke a positive feeling as the person reporting or telling their story represents the story of thousands of others who are witnessing, observing and invested in their story or case.
 
But media coverage presents a double edge sword. Media coverage on sexual abuse is plentiful and this saturation has led to a desensitisation of the issue among the general public. Compassion fatigue can result given the nature of persistent horrific events in today’s culture.
 
If the general public feel desensitised and fatigued, it is difficult for people who have experienced sexual abuse to find their voice to tell their own story.
 
People who have experienced sexual abuse can also be terrified of the implications of having to cope with media attention if they choose to report. This can often be misunderstood and is something we hope to give people clarity around before embarking on reporting.
 
Deirdre Kenny, Advocacy Director
 

 

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

You can make a donation on-line here.
 
Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by contacting us at fundraising@oneinfour.ie or call us up at (01) 662 4070
 
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
 

Categories: General.

Global Giving- Only a few days remain!

September 26, 2016

Only four days remain!

One in Four is taking part of online fundraising competition. In the short space of the 19th of September to the 30th of September we are urging people to donate to help us, through Global Giving, to shorten our continually expanding waiting list.

At this very moment there is a 3 week waiting period to get an initial consultation meeting. After this there is a further 3-4 month waiting period to get into an official counselling programme.

Individuals ring every day, many have waited years, some even waited  decades to reach out for help and support. We want to be able to help them when they make that first call. Don’t make them wait.

Our success in this project can lead to a series of new beginnings for all those waiting and all those working on building their courage to contact us and seek help. You can be the bridge that brings them closer.

In order to earn a permanent spot on the Global Giving Website we need to raise $5,000 by 40 different donors. Will you be one of them?

http://buff.ly/2d3qtuF  

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Categories: General.

Donate TODAY ONLY and your donation will do more…

September 22, 2016

 

"To be told that you must go on a waiting list is like being told that no one wants to listen..." That's what one survivor of abuse told me last week.

And because of a simple lack of resources there are still dozens of women, men and families sitting on our waiting list.

But GOOD NEWS...Today only, GlobalGiving are going to match your donation!

All online donations above US$25 and up to US$1,000 made at https://goto.gg/24743 will be matched at 20% while funds last. And the most popular projects today will get a $1000 bonus donation.

Will you...your friends...your family...make a super special donation today and allow us to grab this opportunity?

Time is running out...

If you can find the time to help us now...today of all days...then we will be one step closer to eliminating our waiting list. One step closer to supporting every survivor of abuse that contacts us immediately.

Thank you so much.

 

 

Categories: General.

World Suicide Prevention Day - 10th September 2016

September 9, 2016
 
 
Saturday September 10th is National Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide has assumed epidemic proportions in Ireland, taking lives, devastating families and bewildering communities.  We are always left with the question “why?”.  What could possibly drive somebody to the point where death becomes preferable to life? What goes on in a person’s mind that the grief and distress their death will cause their loved ones can be ignored?
 
At One in Four we know that the experience of child sexual abuse is one of the factors that contributes to a decision to take one’s own life.  The searing impact of sexual abuse persists long after the abuse has stopped.  The shame, the despair, the self-loathing can lead a person to believe that life has nothing to offer except more pain, and that their families will be better off without them.  Many adults who have been sexually abused are at high risk of suicide.  We meet people every day who have contemplated taking their own lives as the only way to escape from overwhelming suffering. 
 
But we also know that with expert help, people can make different choices.  They can be supported to face what has happened, move through the pain and believe in a future that holds the promise of contentment.  Sadly, not everybody gets the opportunity to receive the help they need.  We know that a number of people have taken their own lives while on our waiting list, before we were able to meet them.  We cannot know for sure that the outcome would have been different if we had been able to offer immediate help, but it is very likely.
 
On National Suicide Prevention Day let us remember the sexual abuse survivors who have died, but let us also remember those who are alive and struggling.  As a society we can choose to make sure that help is available to everybody who is in that lonely, dark place where suicide seems like the only option.  And we urge people to take a chance and ask for that help when they need it.
 

 

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

You can make a donation on-line here.
 
Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by contacting us at fundraising@oneinfour.ie or call us up at (01) 662 4070
 
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
 
 

Categories: General.

My little donations is only €10…

August 10, 2016

This arrived in the post this morning along with a ten Euro note: "My little donations is only €10. I would love to be of greater help to you."
 
Oh my goodness that warms the heart on a Monday morning!
 
EVERY donation is a massive help to us. Every donation gives us strength. And every Euro donated or fundraised is put straight to good use and helps us answer one more call, offer one more therapy session to someone that can't afford it, accompany one more survivor to court...everything!
 
Thank you so much to the person that took the time to write this and post in ten Euro to us. And thank you to everyone that supports us each and every day.
 
Don't compare your donations to those big company cheques you see in the newspaper or on TV. If your donation is significant to you then it is significant to us. Companies are often afraid to support work in sexual abuse because it is a 'difficult' subject. But survivors of sexual abuse will continue to be supported thanks to individuals like this, and individuals like you.
 
Thank you!
 

 

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

You can make a donation on-line here.
 
Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by contacting us at fundraising@oneinfour.ie or call us up at (01) 662 4070
 
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

Categories: General.

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