Saturday 20 January 2018

Shame on us for dismissing the evidence of children so easily

The voices of our abused young continue to go unheard because we simply don't want to listen, says Carol Hunt

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt

What must it feel like? To be a parent of an already vulnerable daughter, and realise that the place of safety which you - by recommendation of the State - had placed her in, turned out to be a torture chamber?

That unbeknownst to you, your daughter had been abused to such a degree that the damage to her internal organs necessitated surgery and would shorten her life? Could there be anything worse? Unbelievably, there could. Because when the girl's parents brought their suspicions to the relevant health board they found "no one believed us". Worse again, it was implied the abuse may have occurred in the family home.

So, on the one hand there's a young girl, profoundly intellectually disabled, who was placed with a foster family for a few days a week so she could attend a nearby specialist school. Her mother went and looked at it. She said, "I trusted the health board".

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