New victims and survivors support service to be launched in Northern Ireland

It will respond to individual requests for assistance such as welfare advice, health and wellbeing, social support and information.
New victims and survivors support service to be launched in Northern Ireland

A new service for victims of historical abuse will launch on Tuesday, Michelle O’Neill said. Picture: David Young/PA

A new support service for victims and survivors who suffered abuse as children in residential institutions will be launched on Tuesday in Northern Ireland.

It will respond to individual requests for assistance such as welfare advice, health and wellbeing, social support and information.

It will run under the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS), which looks after victims of the Troubles.

Stormont Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Tomorrow we will be launching the service and it will build on what has already been achieved for HIA victims and survivors.”

It will cover areas such as counselling.

She added: “This is another milestone in the implementation of the Hart report.”

Sir Anthony Hart’s Historical Institutional Abuse public inquiry examined historical allegations of child abuse (Paul Faith/PA)

The Hart report was the culmination of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) public inquiry which examined historical allegations of child abuse at 22 residential institutions run by religious, charitable and state organisations across Northern Ireland over a 73-year period.

The HIA Support Service will be based in Belfast and will cover all parts of Northern Ireland.

A separate redress board headed by the High Court judge Adrian Colton, which oversees the compensation scheme, has so far made 219 final determinations on applications, Ms O’Neill said.

Millions of pounds have been paid out.

The scheme became operational at the end of March when a redress board was established as part of recommendations made in the HIA inquiry.

The HIA inquiry called for payments ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.

Thousands of victims are believed to be eligible.

More in this section