Fianna Fáil TD, Willie O’Dea will lead the debate on a motion to ensure that all victims of child sex abuse whose perpetrators have been convicted can seek redress from the State tonight in the Dáil.
The Fianna Fáil motion seeks to amend the scheme for ex-gratia payments from the State to victims following a decision of the ECHR. It found that the State provided inadequate protection against child abuse in national schools.
Deputy O’Dea commented, “Fianna Fáil believes that the way in which the Government is interpreting the ECHR ruling is unjust and unfair as it puts a barrier in front of many victims seeking redress.
“International research has shown that the vast majority of children who are victims of sexual abuse do not disclose that abuse; and that those who do, often wait a significant period of time before doing so. We believe that the requirement to have made a prior complaint is an attempt by the State to deter victims from seeking redress and compensation.
“The prior complaint requirement means that even a victim whose abuser was subsequently criminally convicted cannot get redress in the absence of having made a prior complaint themselves. Our motion seeks to help this limited group of people.
“There have been accusations levelled that our motion, if passed, would open the floodgates. This is a bogus argument as the number of potential beneficiaries from the change we are suggesting is quite limited. The way in which victims are being treated under this redress scheme is inhumane.
“This is not a topic on which any party should engage in political point scoring. No government can be proud of the treatment of sexual abuse victims in our country. This motion sets out to right a wrong in how this redress scheme has been set up. I call on TDs from all sides of the House to support it,” concluded O’Dea.