Historical abuse survivors from Tyrone come forward
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has confirmed that survivors of insitutional abuse from Tyrone have already come forward.
The announcement comes at the same time as an appeal by the agency for local victims and survivors to contact them.
The inquiry has launched a promotional campaign using bus shelter advertising posters in the Dungannon district.
The posters carry a simple message – ‘Talk to Us – We’ll Listen’ - in an effort to raise awareness of the Inquiry among victims and survivors, and to encourage them to make contact with the Inquiry team.
The Inquiry is also distributing outreach posters and literature to relevant organisations, and to libraries, hospitals and GP surgeries.
Launching the promotional campaign, the Inquiry’s Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, said: “We are determined to do as much as we reasonably can to make our existence known to those who may have been abused as children in the institutions which fall within our terms of reference.
“This is because we want as many people as possible who can help the work of the Inquiry to come forward, and to come forward now, not to wait.
”The Inquiry is tasked with investigating historical childhood abuse which took place at residential institutions in Northern Ireland which fall within the Inquiry’s terms of reference.”
So far, 35 different sites have been identified as ones which may potentially be the subject of the Inquiry’s investigation.
The Inquiry is keen to hear from victims and survivors, and other potential witnesses, whether they are living in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere.
To date, 193 potential witnesses have submitted applications to testify to the Inquiry and/or its Acknowledgement Forum. Victims and survivors have the option of recounting their experiences to the Inquiry’s Acknowledgement Forum Panel.
While the Inquiry Panel is holding the statutory inquiry into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland, the Forum is designed to provide a reassuring environment where victims and survivors can recount their experiences in a more relaxed setting than a statutory Inquiry chamber.
Victims and survivors can opt to apply to testify to either or both the Acknowledgement Forum and/or the statutory Inquiry Panel.
The Inquiry has put in place a number of steps to help victims and survivors with practical and emotional support.
An Inquiry spokesperson said: “The Inquiry is well aware that, for many victims and survivors, the process of recounting relevant events can be traumatic for some of the individuals involved.
“Every effort has been made to ensure that sufficient emotional support is available for victims and survivors while they recount their experiences to the Acknowledgement Forum or give evidence to the Inquiry.
“The Inquiry has its own Witness Support Service with dedicated Witness Support Officers who provide this role.”
The Inquiry will also reimburse all reasonable travel expenses incurred by witnesses. Where witnesses cannot easily travel to the Inquiry’s offices to be interviewed by the Forum Panel or by the Inquiry, arrangements can be made for Forum Panel members to travel to see them at a suitable location. Application forms can be downloaded from the website www.hiainquiry.org or requested by calling the Inquiry helpline on Freephone 0800 068 4935.
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Weather for Dungannon
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
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Wind direction: South