New guide for parents coping with discovery of child sexual abuse

Photographed at the launch of the book A Stone Unturned at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, Castlebar, were, from left: Michael Burke, Family Centre, Castlebar; Claire Riordan and Yvonne McCaffrey, HSE; Mary Malee, Tusla Child and Family Agency; and Michael Murphy, author, psychoanalyst and newscaster, who officially launched the book. Photo: Keith Heneghan.

Photographed at the launch of the book A Stone Unturned at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, Castlebar, were, from left: Michael Burke, Family Centre, Castlebar; Claire Riordan and Yvonne McCaffrey, HSE; Mary Malee, Tusla Child and Family Agency; and Michael Murphy, author, psychoanalyst and newscaster, who officially launched the book. Photo: Keith Heneghan.

Well-known television broadcaster, psychoanalyst, and author Michael Murphy was in his native Castlebar recently to launch a new HSE guide for families who are coping with the discovery of child sexual abuse.

A Stone Unturned was created by Yvonne McCaffrey, from the HSE's adult counselling service, Claire Riordan, from the HSE's child and adolescent psychology service, and Mary Malee, from the Tusla Child and Family Agency.

The guide also provides insights and recommendations from members of a local support group, based at the Family Centre in Castlebar, for parents of children who have experienced sexual abuse.

Ms McCaffrey said the discovery that a child has been sexually abused is traumatic and hard to accept but the guide may be able to help.

“This guide is an information resource which aims to help parents and guardians to cope with the discovery of child sexual abuse in their family, and to guide them in supporting the young person, themselves, and others who have been affected by the situation," she said.

"The guide aims to address some of the questions that may arise and to provide information on strategies and services that may help."

Topics covered in the guide include information on child abuse; the process involved in investigating sexual abuse, how to support those affected by child sexual abuse; and local and national resources.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the guide, contact your local social work department at: St Mary’s HQ, Castlebar (094 ) 9042284; HSE Health Centre, Mercy Road, Ballina (096 ) 21511; HSE Health Centre, Áras Attracta, Swinford (094 ) 9050133.

The guide is also available from local libraries or to download from www.hse.ie

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