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Ireland Liable

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European Court of Human Right finds Ireland liable for sexual abuse in Catholic school

Leinster House which houses the Seanad chamber, or upper house of the Irish parliament, is pictured in Dublin on October 2, 2013

Leinster House which houses the Seanad chamber, or upper house of the Irish parliament, is pictured in Dublin on October 2, 2013

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday found Ireland liable for sexual abuse suffered by a girl at a Catholic-run state primary school in the 1970s.

“The Court found that it was an inherent obligation of a Government to protect children from ill-treatment, especially in a primary education context,” the court said in its ruling of a case brought by a woman who had been sexually abused by the principal of her school in 1973.

“That obligation had not been met,” it said.

Read more here


 

Melanie Blow is on the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse NY and the New York Coalition to Protect Children. She leads the Stop Abuse Campaign’s campaign to eliminate Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and sits on the Rochester Area Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She blogs for the Stop Abuse Campaign and Prevent Child Abuse NY, has written for survivor magazines, parenting columns, and has had blogs and editorials published in local and national venues. She regularly testifies before the New York State legislator for children’s issues, and regularly provides educational talks about child sex abuse laws, child sex abuse prevention, and human trafficking.

Melanie Blow is on the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse NY and the New York Coalition to Protect Children. She leads the Stop Abuse Campaign’s campaign to eliminate Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and sits on the Rochester Area Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She blogs for the Stop Abuse Campaign and Prevent Child Abuse NY, has written for survivor magazines, parenting columns, and has had blogs and editorials published in local and national venues. She regularly testifies before the New York State legislator for children’s issues, and regularly provides educational talks about child sex abuse laws, child sex abuse prevention, and human trafficking.

“The Court found that it was an inherent obligation of a Government to protect children from ill-treatment…”

Interesting concept. Especially for someone living in a country where the laws against child sexual abuse are essentially unenforceable, ensuring that 90-97% of survivors never see their abuser serve a day behind bars.

This is a country that refuses to fund the educating of adults about child sexual abuse, but doesn’t hesitate to pay the vast costs associated with the addiction, mental illness and other life-long costs sexual abuse bestows on its victims and society. And this is a country where advocates need to fight tooth and nail, state by state and community by community to make the smallest ripple of change.

From a public policy standpoint, there is nothing remarkable about the existence of people who are willing to harm children. Everyone else, in a family, community, or government, then is faced with a choice of facilitating the wrong-doer or punishing them. And those really are the only two options- ignoring the situation helps the abuser.

It seems that Ireland has ruled that facilitating the wrong-doers in their midst is no longer an option. And hopefully, the rest of the world will reach the same conclusion soon.

Click here to sign our petition supporting the Child Victims Act in New York State

 

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