Children are often the forgotten victims of domestic abuse, said the manager of MCI (Mayo Children’s Initiative ), the first and only project in the country to put the needs and rights of children living with domestic abuse centre stage.
Speaking at a special MCI open day last Friday, Helen Mortimer said that every time children speak about the anxiety, fear, and dread they endure when violence or conflict is a part of their lives, it highlights the need for all services working with children to keep domestic abuse on their radar.
“We must first consider the possibility that it is happening in homes around the country and then recognise and respond to the abuse appropriately, to ensure that the children in Mayo and throughout the country are protected by the adults mandated to ensure their safety,” she said. “That is a responsibility for each and every one of us.”
Special guest, Emily Logan, Ireland’s Ombudsman for Children, said that the “sad reality” is that “20 per cent of children are subjected to abuse in the context of their home environment.”
Since its beginnings in 2009, MCI has had contact with hundreds of children and young people, primarily through its prevention and early intervention programme Protective Behaviours.
MCI can be contacted on 094 928 6407 or [email protected]