Commissioner urges Victims and Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse to seek support following public apology

16 March 2022

Commissioner urges Victims and Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse to seek support following public apology

Following on from the Public Apology offered to victims and survivors of institutional childhood abuse on Friday 11th March, Commissioner Fiona Ryan encourages victims and survivors to seek support, acknowledging that it is a difficult time for many.

The Commissioner’s office is available to discuss the advice and support available and how to access these services. A range of services to support victims and survivors of institutional childhood abuse are provided by the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS), WAVE Trauma Centre, Advice NI and other service providers, a list of which is published on the Commissioner’s website.

 

Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse, Fiona Ryan said:

For many survivors, the apology was the first formal recognition from the state and institutions for the systematic abuse that was inflicted upon them as children. I know that some survivors may still be feeling anxious and troubled. It may have also brought back painful memories and trauma. I want to make it known that support is still available and will continue to be available. My office is also there to discuss where and how to access support at this time. If you wish to talk, there will be people who will listen.

“Recognising that it is not what was originally envisaged in the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry published in 2017, survivors have carried a tremendous burden of pain and trauma with them throughout their lifetimes and shown incredible patience in getting to the point where they finally heard the words: ‘We are sorry. You were never to blame.’”

The role of the Commissioner is to promote the interests of victims and survivors of institutional childhood abuse. The Commissioner’s office can be contacted between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday by phoning 028 9054 4985 or emailing info@cosica-ni.org.

Services can be accessed from the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS), WAVE Trauma Centre and Advice NI. The VSS can be contacted by phoning 028 9031 1678 or by emailing hiaenquiries@vssni.org.

 

For additional support, the below organisations can be contacted:

  • WAVE Trauma Centre: 028 8225 2522
  • Advice NI: 028 9064 5919
  • Lifeline: 0808 808 8000
  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Inspire Wellbeing: 028 9032 8474