2019 has been a year of highs and lows at One in Four.  We have continued to deliver expert services to men and women who have been sexually abused as children, to support their families and to provide a pioneering intervention programme to those who cause sexual harm.  The demand for our services has never been higher – we have worked with almost 900 people this year.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet everybody who reached out to us and our psychotherapy waiting list has been closed since September.  This is a huge concern to us as so many people who contact us are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist services we provide.

One of the highs of the year was our “I Am One in Four” Photovoice project.  Led by academic Maria Quinlan and photographer Patrick Bolger, a group of our clients took photos that symbolise the impact of sexual abuse on their lives and then wrote about the photos.  This led to a powerful and moving exhibition in May, at which some of the participants spoke about their lives.

2019 was the 10th anniversary of the devastating Ryan Report into institutional abuse of children.  We collaborated with other agencies, in particular the Christine Buckley Centre, in organising a conference to mark the occasion and to highlight how much work remains to be done in supporting survivors, many of whom are now elderly.

Our staff have been in high demand to give presentations at conferences both here and abroad and we have also delivered training courses to professionals on aspects of working with adult survivors.

We work hard to raise public awareness on the complex issues surrounding sexual violence.  We regularly take part in media discussions and were very active in 2019 discussing the Scouting Ireland scandal, the tragic murder of Ana Kriegel, dealing with sex offenders  and developments in the Catholic Church.

We were delighted to be one of 5 charities chosen for the Social Innovation Fund Equality Awards.  We received a grant for a psychotherapist’s salary and invaluable training and consultation in developing our service.

We also developed a new website this year and it hopefully makes our services more accessible to survivors, professionals and supporters.

During the year we have worked closely with other organisations in the field of sexual violence.  We also have strong working relationships with the Gardai and Tusla child protection teams.  We made 71 notifications of concerns about children to Tusla and supported 35 clients through criminal trials.

We are very grateful to our statutory funders – the HSE, the Department of Justice and Tusla for their continued support.  But we couldn’t provide our vital services without the generosity of corporations and individuals.  We are very appreciative of the support of Silvercloud and Arup and of the Ballycommon Sponsored Ride.  The hundreds of individuals who walked the Camino, abseiled Croke Park, ran a marathon, organised a birthday fundraiser, made a donation or became monthly donors are truly amazing people and have our profound gratitude.