institutional abuse

Putting children into prostitution is a particularly heinous form of abuse. The great majority of these children suffer sexual abuse at home, before being put on the street. Studies show that child prostitution is a serious problem in some countries. For example, in Canada it is estimated that up to 80% of those involved in the sex industry began as sexually abused children.
Rape is the most serious form of child sexual abuse, and there are revolting incidences of small babies being raped. Jim Hopper, an American psychologist knowledgeable on sexual abuse, estimated in one of his studies that 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 16. One of the most disturbing stories on child rape is that of Sophia McColgan, told by Susan McKay. Sophia and her siblings, who lived in the West of Ireland, were raped by their father over a 20-year period. Her sickening ordeal began when she was only six, and is narrated in the blog Sophia’s Story.
The revelations of the Murphy and Ryan reports on the sexual abuse of children in Irish institutions or by paedophilic Irish clergy are shocking. Global reports on institutional and clerical abuse are equally shocking, especially in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Europe. Institutional abuse in Ireland was mainly by religious, and was on a grand scale attracting much publicity. It thrived on unlimited power over poverty- stricken children, and was unhindered because of neglect by various agencies, such as Education, Justice, the police, and health services. Reports to Government were not published in the media, and an ex-Taoiseach (Prime Minister) finally apologised for the state’s failure to prevent this awful abuse. The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Irish state, whereby clergy and religious had extensive power and were held in deference, facilitated this abuse.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press

Posted in abuse, Child Abuse