For the Attention of Survivors:
We have been asked to inform you of a survey being conducted by RSM, through the offices of the Irish Episcopal Conference (IEC) and the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI). The survey is related to 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. The purpose of this Review 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.
An important part of this Review is to engage with survivors and victims of abuse so that their perspectives and experiences are meaningfully heard and considered by the Review Team. The abuse could be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or spiritual in nature. Specifically, we are seeking to engage with survivors who have disclosed their abuse within the last 20 years to determine what the Church is currently doing well, and which aspects of the Church’s response could be improved upon. This 20-year timeframe has been applied to the Review because the current safeguarding systems in the Church, which are the subject of this Review, have been in existence for up to 20 years.
This consultation will take place from 6th October 2023 to 6th November 2023, using a survey that has been specifically created for this purpose. The survey should not be used to make a new allegation of abuse, which should be done through the normal reporting channels and to the statutory agencies as necessary. The survey itself highlights some of the supports that are available to survivors, should they be needed.
We, at Towards Healing apologise for the delay in sending this survey out to our service-users but due to internal and administration delays it has not been possible.
There is absolutely no obligation to complete this survey.
The survey can be accessed online here: https://collector.sensemaker-suite.com/collector?projectID=71acbcf9-4d60-45dc-af1d-b1405195b635 or for anyone unable to complete this survey online, please contact [email protected] to get a copy of the survey sent out in the post.
Further information about this Review can be found on their website: https://www.rsm.global/ireland/news/strategic-review-child-safeguarding-catholic-church-ireland
If you are currently attending counselling with Towards Healing, please be advised that your counsellor has been made aware of this survey and can offer support if it has been anyway upsetting for you. Our team in Towards Healing are also available to support as necessary through our phoneline: 1800 303416 (Rep of Ireland)
Dr. Aisling Hearns
Director of Services