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Forms of Abuse

Abuse My Story

"It started when I was twelve. At first I really didn't notice that I was singled out for special attention. He would invent reasons to get me on my own. Then the little touches began, sometimes he would put his arms around me and pull me tight against him.

I knew it was wrong but it just happened so gradually that I could not stop it and didn't know how to tell anyone. What would I say? Why hadn't I been able to stop it sooner? Most of all, would I have to tell the Gardai and explain to everyone what he had done? How could my parents listen to that and would I be taken away? I know they will help me but I feel so ashamed and useless."

Child abuse happens in Mayo. The Western Health Board have social workers and psychologists who listen to young people talking about the abuse that they have suffered. During 1999 some 300 children, and young people, were reported as being abused in Mayo.