Dangerous to believe worst of abuse behind us, says bishop

Irish Times

January 14, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

To relax would be ‘a profound error which would compound the historical failures’, conference hears.

A Catholic bishop has said that ignorance about the effects of child abuse in the past compounded its harmful effects on the lives of many young and vulnerable people.

“People of my generation began our adult lives with almost no awareness of the pervasiveness and impact of abuse in our society and in all societies,” Catholic Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said.

“As a consequence, failure to recognise and respond appropriately to the complex issues which abuse presents, has at times compounded the profound and harmful impact on the lives of many young and vulnerable persons,” he said.

“In recent weeks, millions have joined the social media conversation using the hashtag #MeToo, or its equivalent, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; women and men denouncing harmful sexual experiences. Many are revealing for the first time, via social media, their own stories. While the majority of those sharing #MeToo stories are adult women, a large number of the shared stories reveal sexual abuse that began when they were still minors,” he said.

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