New study to give voice to 'hidden group' affected by child sexual abuse

New study to give voice to 'hidden group' affected by child sexual abuse

New research will give a voice to a previously 'hidden group' affected by the fallout from child sexual abuse.

Statistics in Ireland show approximately one-in-four children have been the victim of child sex abuse.

A new online survey will study how that may have affected their brothers and sisters.

This important national study is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Led by DCU's Dr Rosaleen McElvaney and Dr Simon Dunne, it will explore the impact of sexual abuse on other family relationships.

"Sometimes relationships become very fractured, very fragmented," said Dr McElvaney.

"Sometimes there's a lot of blame goes on in families for blaming the person for disclosing the abuse."

Dr McElvaney says little is documented nationally or internationally to provide insights about siblings who learn of the sexual abuse of their own brother or sister.

They are inviting affected family members to come forward now as part of an anonymous online survey.

"We're sending it out on Twitter. We're going to set up a Facebook page."

Dr McElvaney added: "If people are interested, probably the easiest thing to do is go to my web page in DCU or give me a ring on 7007383."

The team hope the results could help form public policy in the future.

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