Northern Ireland Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse to reach out to victims and survivors of historical institutional child abuse through International Awareness Initiative
Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse Fiona Ryan has launched an international awareness initiative in Great Britain, Australia, Canada and the Republic of Ireland to raise awareness among victims and survivors of historical institutional child abuse who are no longer living in Northern Ireland of their entitlements.
Commissioner Fiona Ryan is supporting The Executive Office’s campaign which also launched today within Northern Ireland. This campaign has shared aims of creating awareness of support, services and financial redress compensation available to victims of historical institutional child abuse.
Referring to her own Office’s initiative and The Executive Office’s campaign which the Commissioner, along with victims and survivors, has been advocating should take place as a matter of urgency, Commissioner Fiona Ryan said:
“I know from many survivors whom I have listened to, the trauma of the abuse they suffered as children is not a distant memory but a reality they live with every day. I know that for others even acknowledging what happened to them is a source of deep pain and shame. Every survivor is an individual and the choice they make about whether, when and how they seek services or redress is their own and should be respected.
“My hope is that these initiatives reach victims and survivors who are unaware or unsure of their entitlements and provides them with the information they need to make informed choices in accessing supports, services and redress.”
The Commissioner further outlined why her Office was focusing in parallel, in raising awareness among Northern Ireland victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse who were no longer living in Northern Ireland:
“Whether through economic necessity, the impact of the ‘Troubles’, or the very real wish to leave the place they associated with their childhood trauma, there are a significant number of victims and survivors who are no longer living in Northern Ireland and who are living elsewhere. They are in addition to the victims and survivors of the Child Migrant Programme who were taken from Northern Ireland to Australia.
“My Office is beginning its awareness initiative in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland with the aim of reaching Northern Ireland victims and survivors of historical institutional childhood abuse living in these countries, and encouraging awareness of their entitlements. The initiative will include advertising in newspapers, press and publicity and engaging with organisations particularly at community level who may come in contact with Northern Ireland victims and survivors of historical institutional child abuse in the course of their work.”