The policy coordinator of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) says it is important that resources and supports are in place to help anyone who comes forward with allegations of abuse to Scouting Ireland.
Fiona Jennings also called on all organisations working with children to ensure their recruitment and training procedures are robust. “We would urge them to take the time to review the procedures they have in place to ensure they offer the best protection for children.”
She told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that it had been very concerning to hear of the allegations of historic abuse in Scouting Ireland.
Yesterday Scouting Ireland’s protection manager Ian Elliot warned that the number of alleged child sex abuse cases uncovered in an ongoing review by Scouting Ireland is expected to be “considerably” higher than the 108 identified so far.
The review of past abuse in the organisation identified 71 alleged abusers, who were primarily active between the 1960s and 1980s.
Ms Jennings acknowledged the courage of those who had come forward to tell of the abuse they suffered.
It was also important to see Scouting Ireland coming forward and addressing the allegations. “For them to move forward it is increasingly important that robust procedures are in place and that people are aware of what they have to do.”
She said that the more abuse is talked about, the more likely children are to recognise that ‘this shouldn’t be happening to me.’
If something does happen they are able to recognise ‘that is wrong’ and are able to report it.
The ISPCC awaits the complete report on Scouting Ireland so they can respond and understand what happened.