Government must provide more funding for the national charity supporting victims of child sexual abuse, according to Senator Mary Seery-Kearney. Senator Seery – Kearney, Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Privacy Rights said “According to RTÉ, Children At Risk in Ireland (CARI) have reported a dramatic increase in the demand for their services arising out of the increase in sexual abuse during the Covid period.
“I believe that the charity, which provides such a vital service, must receive a dramatic increase in their funding to ensure they can meet the increased demands on their counselling and support services for children who have suffered child sexual abuse. “As a nation we have been appalled by the domestic violence increase during Covid, and now we see the same appalling pattern that has rendered children unsafe and helpless in their homes, preyed upon by family members. “I am calling on the Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman, to ensure that there is a proportionate increase in the funding of their services so that they can meet the demand from children. Children cannot be left on long waiting lists when their need is so urgent.
“I also believe we need a national conversation on child sexual abuse. CARI have reported that in the Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) report, 47% of women and 60% of men have suffered sexual abuse as children and never reported it. “As CARI says “Secrecy is the currency of child sexual abuse” and we need as a nation to end that culture of secrecy. We must address the large levels of child sexual abuse still prevalent in our communities so that it can be stopped and support can be given to the victims and survivors. “I raised this on the order of business in the Seanad as I believe we need a debate to elevate the national conversation in the interests of children,” Senator Seery-Kearney concluded.