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