In 2002, the SAVI report was published, revealing the horrifying extent to which the population of Ireland suffer at the hands of sexual abuse. The main aim of the SAVI study was to “estimate the prevalence of various forms of sexual violence among Irish women and men across the lifespan from childhood through adulthood”, and a statistic that was discovered was that one in four Irish people suffer childhood sexual abuse. The following year, One in Four was founded to work with adults who had been impacted by childhood sexual abuse, and has continued to do so ever since. 

While that statistic was both shocking and extremely distressing, and it revealed the magnitude of abuse suffered in our country, I think it is always important to draw it back to what is actually behind that figure. When you think about the office you work in, your family unit, your friend group or any group of people that is readily available to you in your mind, how often do you consider what those people have gone through unbeknownst to you? How many of those people whom you see everyday, struggle just to do everyday? When you try to place those statistics into a group that you are already engaged with, the power of the numbers becomes all the more startling. Behind every statistic is a person, and that person is your friend, your colleague, the lady who lives next door or the man who drives your bus to work. In Dublin alone, there is a population of 544,107 people. Statistically speaking, 136,027 of these people have suffered from childhood sexual abuse, and these are the people who surround you in your daily life.

The trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse can manifest in different ways. That is where One in Four can come in. Our therapists and Advocacy Case Managers work to help those who are suffering, through various therapeutic practices or offering practical advice and support throughout a court case or making a statement. One in Four staff work with what goes on behind the scenes for many. But there are little ways in which we can create a more breathable air in society as a whole. The theme of our Autumn Newsletter is Breaking the Silence. We believe in One in Four, that there is power in silence. What we need to do now is to speak these things into existence. Take the power away from the silence and reclaim it. That doesn’t necessarily mean sharing your story with the world or even to your best friend. We don’t have to share any of our stories to have an impact. 

In the fundraising department this year, we are focusing more on corporate partnerships. For us, a corporate partnership would be a relationship between our organisation and a company, which is mutually beneficial. We want to lift the lid and make as many people know that we see them, we hear them and we stand with them. Many people who experienced childhood sexual abuse may struggle with daily life, which in turn may affect their capabilities to perform as they would like to in their work life or otherwise. Imagine you could alleviate even a fraction of their pain through a small gesture that takes nothing out of your day - you can.

It is becoming increasingly important for companies to look out for their employees and make sure that their workspace feels like a safe place for them to be. We are asking you to break the silence in the workplace. Let your colleagues know, albeit indirectly, that you acknowledge that what they may have gone through was wrong and that you have their best interests at heart. This could be a gesture as simple as sticking a poster with inspirational words in common areas, or hosting an office coffee morning with a theme of ‘Breaking the Silence.’ Even just having the partnership alone is telling your colleagues and employees that you care. Opening up this partnership with One in Four could truly create something very special. We want to work together with as many people as possible, all towards the shared goal of breaking the silence. For more information on what a corporate partnership with One in Four might look like, or to express your interest, please contact Eva at [email protected]