Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Irish Childline reports 2,300 contacts per day

Irish Child Line, a charity that receives calls from distressed children, released it's figures for 2010, and quotes an average of 2,300 calls or messages per day, from children all over Ireland.

This was reported in Irish Media. It's meaning, however, has not been addressed as of yet.

I wrote the following letter to Irish Media to suggest that it must be addressed.

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To The Editor,

The release of the child-line figures demonstrates, once again, that there are endemic, long term problems within Irish Society which reveal an almost cultural lack of empathy, for children, for the vulnerable, and for the distressed.

The manner in which successive Irish Governments have indemnified both itself, as The State, and the Church, with regard to the horrific abuses perpetrated within State and Church Institutions, and outside, demonstrates that lack of empathy.

The North Cork Ten case and the DPP's unwillingness to prosecute demonstrates that lack of empathy. Happily, the campaign by 'ordinary Irish Citizens' to demand that the DPP prosecute demonstrates that there are some people in Ireland whose empathy is intact.

The Christy Smith case demonstrates yet again a systemic lack of empathy in many State Institutions.

Rachel Peavoy's death, earlier this year, and the inquest into her death, and it's 'findings', reveals this systemic, institutional lack of empathy.

The 'rape' jokes by 4 Corrib Bay Shell Gardai last month, and the mistreatment of the people of Corrib Bay that has continued for so many years, reveals that lack of empathy.

The willingness of the Irish Government to force the Irish People to pay the Debts of the Gambling Bankers shows that lack of empathy.

There are people all over Ireland who will tell you, were you to give them an ear, that the beatings and humiliation they experienced in school did not, and does not strengthen their character.

And there are those who will tell you, that yes, 'it made a man of me', there are people in positions of Power who will say that their school experience of 40 years ago was character forming, and who will find it difficult to empathise with those whose experience was traumatic.

Only when honesty and empathy prevails in all institutions of Power, and thus flows forth throughout Irish Society, and is met by the same at the grass roots, will the Irish People be in a position to provide for their children a future that is decent, abundant, balanced and above all psychologically healthy.

It's a worthy cause, indeed it's the only worthy cause.


Kindest regards

Corneilius Crowley
London


The facts are that the vast majority of abused children never tall anyone, and it is often only in adult life that they reveal what they have been through, after years of trying to just live day by day, tormented by the trauma, the shame, the self-blame .... often it is only when things have broken down to such an extent that the adult Survivor seeks 'professional help' which leads to their disclosure.

What makes it more difficult,if it wasn't already intensely difficult, for Survivors is this sense of isolation, of failure, of being judged by others,that comes from not 'performing' according to Societies messages - jobs, money, goods etc etc.....

There's also the fact that Childline says that 1/3rd of the calls went unanswered. We need more data on this. Childline should provide that data to those who can properly analyse it.

The figures will not go down until there is 100% honesty, and with that empathy, for survivors and also an understanding of the dynamics of intergenerational trauma patterning amongst the general population. This is what I am working for.

My first concern is always with the survivors, and that requires that the general population gain more understanding of the dynamics of abuse, of survival, so that the understand when Survivors 'present' symptoms that they must not judge the survivor..... when that is in place, and is deepening with Society at large, then we can deal with the full implications for those Institutions and for those who abuse children, whatever the manner or form that abuse takes.

I fear that too much attention is focussed on the institutions, be it to confront them or to protect them, and that the first duty is to make safe those who have been harmed.... I also feel strongly that there are some 'activists' whose work on the face of it appears to support Survivors, yet in reality fails to address the points I have made above, and if anything polarises the issue, driving people away from a deeper comprehension.

This worries me muchly. That is not to say that the confrontation must not proceed, but that it needs to be fully complemented by that which makes safe the survivors. It is not OK to me, at least, that Survivors are suffering whilst the arguments rage back and forth. Some will die, often by their own hand, out of sheer frustration and desperation ....

And many more will continue to live fragmented, broken, pain filled lives and this grieves me deeply.

I am in my self reasonably happy, and can to a certain degree, bear this grief, I refuse to shut myself off from it. It's there, it's real and it informs my work as much as my anger and my love....



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