Concerns Raised Over Rape Crisis Network Report

Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has said a report by the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland makes for "distressing reading".

Buttimer's comments come after the report revealed that 37% if child sex abusers are themselves under 18 years of age.

He continued: "This report, 'Hearing child survivors of sexual violence - Towards a national response' is based on data which has never before been used and comes from 16 Rape Crisis and Children at Risk in Ireland (CARI) branches.

"Reports of this nature always make for uncomfortable reading but none so much as when, as is the case with this, it details the fact that more than a third of abusers are themselves children under 18 themselves.

"This startling statistic, which also indicates that 97% of those children who are abusing are male, will force us to examine the reasons why such a high level of childhood sexual abuse is being carried out by our children; are they themselves victims of abuse, is children's exposure to inappropriate content on the internet playing a part or are there other factors that need to be considered?

"We know that most people who have been abused do not go on to abuse. However, a high majority of those who carry out abuse have themselves been abused. Ireland has a horrible past when it comes to a history of adults abusing children. This report will be a cause for serious reflection, however, on how and why such high levels of abuse being perpetrated by our young boys."

"I welcome the Minister for Children's commitment today to the development of a coordinated national approach for sexual and abuse services for children and young people. The Minister has requested that the HSE proceeds with filling four posts of regional coordinators and this will assist in better managing services on a national level.

Furthermore, four regional coordinators posts are to be filled for services for children demonstrating sexually harmful behaviour.

"Our children are growing up in a world that is unrecognisable when compared to that of their parents'. This report will be important in charting the road ahead and in determining the best way of ensuring that our children are safe and supported in a society that is free from childhood sexual abuse," he continued.


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