Scouts confirm 80 new cases of alleged child sex abuse
A TOTAL of 80 people from across the country have contacted Scouting Ireland in the last week claiming they were survivors of child sex abuse.
The alleged victims came forward in recent days in the wake of disturbing revelations of historic abuse.
Last week Scouting Ireland disclosed an internal review had identified 108 alleged child sex abuse survivors, and 71 alleged abusers, who were primarily active between the 1960s and 1980s.
In a meeting with Minister for Children Katherine Zappone this evening, Scouting Ireland officials told her that 80 people had contacted the organisation’s confidential helpline following the announcement.
“I have been reassured that Scouting Ireland is taking these shocking revelations very seriously,” Ms Zappone said in a statement released after the meeting.
The organisation has vowed to to provide an update on the number of identified abuse cases and alleged perpetrators in the next two weeks, the Minister added.
Maeve Lewis, executive director of abuse survivors charity One in Four, said it had received calls from 24 victims of historic abuse in Scouting Ireland over the last week.
Child safeguarding expert Ian Elliott is conducting the ongoing review into past abuse in the organisation.
The majority of the identified alleged abusers are deceased, and none are still active in the organisation, which has 40,000 juvenile members.
Where alleged perpetrators were still alive, Scouting Ireland said it had made reports to An Garda Síochána and the State child protection watchdog, Tusla.
Scouting Ireland has set up a confidential helpline at 01-800 221199 for any past cases of child abuse, or people affected by the controversy, to contact the organisation. Tusla has also set up a dedicated helpline over the abuse scandal (1800 805 665).