‘With an estimated 2% conviction rate* on reported Child Sexual Violence cases, making sure we can tell the child’s story, wherever they break the silence, is essential’ says Cliona Saidlear, Executive Director of RCNI, ‘All services and professionals meeting a child’s needs must be able to join up their knowledge with others’, especially when our children cannot. To do this we must develop a common language. This is what the RCNI Breaking the Silence collaborative project promises.’
The goal of a common language and the aim of creating guidelines for terminology on sexual violence against children is to enable the collection of reliable, comprehensive and comparable data across services which will improve our understanding and interagency pathways for children. Failure to use shared language risks minimising or even erasing the experience of the child.
‘Breaking the Silence’ is a collaborative project which provides child-specific terminology and definitions for some of the manifestations of the many forms of sexual violence against children that are covered by the Istanbul Convention and Irish legislation. Now, more than ever, it is well understood that violence against children includes physical, psychological, sexual and emotional violence and it has become increasingly important that the language to describe it captures and accurately records its breadth and nuance. The terminology guide is designed to be used by Irish service providers who must be able to talk to the children and their carers, in language that is appropriate to their organisation.
* The 2% conviction rate is an estimate developed by the Garda Inspectorate.
Download the resource here.