One in Four is delighted to announce that Danielle Ryan is supporting the One in Four sex offender intervention programme in 2017 and 2018.
Executive Director Maeve Lewis says “At One in Four we currently treat 40 sex offenders and their families each year. Many of the offenders on our programme will never be convicted for their crimes because their victims do not wish to make a complaint to the Gardai. We work with the offenders to help them understand the enormous harm they have caused to their victims and to support them in living an offence-free life. While we receive some statutory funding for this project, it does not nearly cover the cost and we always have a waiting list. We know sex offenders generally will continue to abuse children until they are caught, often abusing up to 50 children over the course of a lifetime.It is a constant worry that while an offender is waiting for a space on the programme, they may still be abusing children. Danielle has agreed to fund a two-year salary for a psychotherapist to work with sex offenders. This will allow us to treat an extra 8 offenders each year, saving many children from the devastating impact of sexual abuse.”
Danielle Ryan says “These programmes, however, controversial to some, have been proven to significantly reduce the numbers of sex offenders re-offending. Protection from as many future sex abuse cases against children as possible is our focus. That is what is important. I am very happy to support the work of One in Four and I am eager to open up a larger conversation around this ongoing critical issue.”
International research shows that good sex offender intervention programmes are very effective in reducing re-offending. Of the 155 offenders, One in Four has worked with over the past eight years, to the best of our knowledge only 5 have re-offended. While there is no cure, offenders can be supported to live offence-free lives. One in Four works closely with the Gardai, Tusla and the offender’s family in managing their behaviour and protecting other children in the community.
Maeve Lewis ends: “Protecting children from sexual harm is everybody’s responsibility. I believe that the Government should be funding programmes like ours in every county in Ireland if we are serious about stopping child sexual abuse. In the meantime, we are incredibly grateful to Danielle Ryan for helping us to keep so many children safe.”
Stephen is climbing a Himalayan Mountain for One in Four!! Stephen has been supported by One in Four over the past 8 years. He wishes to raise funds and awareness for others in need, so they can get help and support through our advocacy and therapy teams.
ONE IN FOUR WELCOMES THE PUBLICATION OF THE HISTORICAL INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE INQUIRY IN NORTHERN IRELAND
FRIDAY JANUARY 20TH 2017
One in Four today welcomes the publication of the Report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (the Hart Report) in Northern Ireland.
Executive Director Maeve Lewis says: “The Hart Report documents the unspeakable cruelty to which the most vulnerable children in Northern Ireland were subjected over decades while in the care of the State. Vicious physical abuse, repeated sexual abuse and neglect were the routine experience of the children. Many of them have endured the impact of this inhumane treatment throughout their lives. Judge Hart describes catastrophic failures of the State agencies, religious congregations and the Church authorities to properly monitor the care of the children. The shocking revelations in Northern Ireland mirror those exposed by the Ryan Report (2009) into institutional abuse in the Republic.”
“Just as the abuse of children happened in plain sight in the Republic, so too did it happen in Northern Ireland. Through our deference to unworthy authority, we are all shamed by our silence regarding the despicable treatment of the most defenceless members of our society. And while we might treat the events documented in the Hart and Ryan Reports as belonging to the past, we 21st-century citizens have no reason to be proud of our underfunded and under-resourced child protection and welfare system. Tonight there will be many children who go to bed cold, hungry, unloved and abused while we turn a blind eye.”
Maeve Lewis continues: “We must salute the tremendous courage of all the survivors who gave evidence before the Inquiry and who continue to suffer from the trauma of their childhoods. Unlike in the Republic, no Redress Scheme was set up to run alongside the Inquiry. It is a matter of great urgency that a compensation scheme be established for the survivors, many of whom are now elderly and living in straitened circumstances. We commend Judge Hart and his team for the tremendous work they have done.”
Maeve Lewis ends “The publication of the Hart Report will undoubtedly trigger many painful and distressing memories for survivors from both North and South. I urge anybody who is affected to reach out and ask for support.”
One in Four welcomes the “Would You Believe” documentary on sex offenders, “Beyond Redemption?”, broadcast on RTE1 last night.
Executive Director Maeve Lewis says “This is the beginning of an important national conversation on managing sex offenders in the community”.
Research shows that one in four Irish children are sexually abused but we estimate that fewer than 10% of the perpetrators are ever convicted. This means that there are many people in our communities who pose a risk to children but who will never face a criminal trial. What are we to do with them?
Maeve Lewis continues: “People who sexually abuse children are not aliens. They do not usually fit the stereotype of the dirty old man. They are our family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues. They are often likeable, charming people – that is how they access their victims. I believe that we all have a responsibility to find better ways to deal with sex offenders.”
“At One in Four we provide a sex offender intervention programme to offenders and their families. Most of these men are not facing criminal charges, though we do alert the Gardai and Tusla when they engage with us. All the research shows that good offender programmes are not a soft option but are very effective in reducing re-offending and keeping children safe. We want the Dept. of Justice to put in place similar programmes all over the country.”
We also have a responsibility in our communities to find a way to manage offenders. The Gardai Tusla child protection teams have a role to play, but so does every adult who is concerned about children. Running offenders out of our neighbourhoods is not the answer: they are at their most dangerous when they are driven underground. We know offenders are safest when they have decent accommodation, worthwhile work and social support. We need to look at strategies that have worked in other countries such as the Circles of Support described in the programme.
Maeve Lewis ends: “We cannot pretend that child sexual abuse does not happen as we have shamefully done in the past. We cannot pretend that our approach to sex offenders is working. To do so is putting our children at risk. But if we adopt strategies that have been shown to work in other countries, then we can save a generation of Irish children from the devastation of sexual abuse.”
If you would like to help more survivors of sexual abuse there are several ways to make a donation to One In Four: