The Catholic Church on the island of Ireland, through the offices of the Irish Bishop’s Conference and the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland, has commissioned independent consultants, RSM Ireland, to undertake a strategic review of child safeguarding in the Catholic Church in Ireland. This is an external review which will include, as an essential component, the voice of victims and survivors of abuse.
This ongoing consultation started on 6 October and will end on 6 November next. A specific survey has been created for the review, whose overall objective is to evaluate all aspects of safeguarding, including the impact and effectiveness of the work done by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland and the two support organisations for survivors, Towards Healing and Towards Peace.
Survivors and victims of abuse are invited to offer their perspectives and experiences, and these will be meaningfully heard and considered by the review team. The abuse could be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or spiritual in nature. Specifically, RSM are seeking to engage with survivors who have disclosed their abuse within the last twenty years, in order to determine what the Church is currently doing well, and which aspects of the Church’s response could be improved upon. This twenty-year timeframe has been applied by the review team because the current safeguarding systems in the Church, which are the subject of this review, have been in existence for up to twenty years.
RSM is seeking to hear about survivors’ experience of dealing with the Church after they have disclosed abuse. For example, how did the Church respond; when engaging with the Church, what has been the experience of the survivor ie good and bad; and regarding the advice, care, or support that they might have received. To access the Survey for Survivors, please click here.