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CARI’s response to the second closure of CASATS

PRESS RELEASE
Friday 4th March 2016.


CARI calls on HSE to take urgent action to ensure the immediate reopening of the State’s only 24-hour treatment service for children and adolescents who have been sexually assaulted in Ireland.


CARI is outraged at the second closure of the State’s only 24-hour treatment service for children and adolescents who have been sexually assaulted: the Galway-based Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Service (CASATS). CASATS provide forensic examinations of children aged 14 and under who have been sexually assaulted or raped.Since July 2014, CARI has provided an accompaniment service CASS (Child Accompaniment Support Service) for children and families attending CASATS. The service is led by CARI and provided by seventeen volunteers on a twenty four hour all year basis.

Eve Farrelly Co-ordinator of the service says “Forensic examinations can help and aid criminal convictions of child abusers. Criminal convictions protect children all over the country; convicted offenders can serve custodial sentences, can be registered on the sex offenders list and can avail of therapeutic intervention.There are seven centres for adults and now not one dedicated service for children aged 14 and under.


Children who attend CASATS not only receive a gold standard forensic examination, they are also linked in with CARI’s CASS service who provide both on the spot support at the unit and continued support in the aftermath of an examination.”


Ms Farrelly continued “The SAVI Report tells us that most sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence occurred in the prepubescent period with 67% comprising of girls and 62% comprising of boys having experienced abuse by the age of 12. This the cohort of children that require this dedicated service and that there is now no service for. As it stands today, should a child need a forensic examination following an assault there is no dedicated service in Ireland to perform a forensic examination.”


Ends


Contact;   Eve Farrelly Accompaniment Co-ordinator cass@cari.ie

CARI
Founded in 1989, CARI ( formerly Children At Risk in Ireland) is one of Ireland’s leading voluntary providers of therapy to children, families and groups affected by child sexual abuse. CARI provide a Helpline, CASS (Child Accompaniment Support Service) and therapy service.

CASATS
The CASATS service was established in 2011 by Dr Nelson and Dr Roger Derham to fill a gap where child victims of sexual violence were not being offered appropriate access to forensic medical care.Only 14-year-olds and older can avail of support, examination and treatment at adult sexual assault and treatment units.(SATU’s).