Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre commends the courage and strength of two Traveller women survivors of horrific abuse and neglect, as reported in a case against their father for rape, sexual assault, oral rape and indecent assault this week.

To come forward and report rape or sexual abuse is very difficult for anyone but for Travellers even more so, as many Travellers do not have trust in the justice system.

Following the sentencing of this perpetrator for 16 years, Pavee Point is calling for an independent investigation into why state agencies did not step in to protect these children.

Why were there no interventions between 2004, when social welfare services were made aware of the abuse and 2015 when the woman went again to the Gardaí – Tessa Collins, Community Development Worker

As stated by the Judge in the case – these women were let down by the state.  Opportunities were missed by various state agencies to protect the children because of the lack of communication between the agencies, said Mr. Justice Michael White.

“We need a full investigation into this,” said Tessa Collins, Pavee Point Community Development Worker, Violence Against Women Programme.

“Why were there no interventions between 2004, when social welfare services were made aware of the abuse and 2015 when the woman went again to the Gardai?” asked Ms. Collins. “Why was there a lack of communication between agencies. We need to learn lessons from this horrific situation and ensure Traveller women are empowered to seek help.

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“All supports must now be put in place in order for these survivors to rebuild their lives.

“There are services available that can help anyone who has ever been subjected to rape or sexual assault and they are free and confidential.” said Ms. Collins.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by sexual abuse or neglect, please contact the national Rape Crisis Centre free and confidential helpline 1800 77 8888. 

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre helpline is open 24 hours, seven days a week, and is a listening and support service for women and men who have been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or sexually abused at any time in their lives.