The Kavanagh Sisters Podcast

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Episode 29 - Leona O’Callaghan - Founder of Haven Hub

Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour Helpline is open 1800 77 8888

In today’s podcast (episode 29) we will be talking to Leona O Callaghan, founder of Haven Hub, a voluntary organisation opened in November 2019 and based in Limerick dealing with late night suicide prevention.

We speak to Leona who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse about her decision to wave her anonymity in-order to name her rapist who received an 18-year sentence in 2018. She speaks openly and candidly about how her abuse has led to her repeated attempts at suicide, and how her children have also been strongly impacted by her abuse.

Leona speaks about why she was driven to organise a number of events around sexual violence like ‘The Red Shoe Event’ for women who have lost their lives through violence.  Leona is a strong advocate for survivors’ rights and in May 2019 Leona spoke before the Bar of Ireland’s ConferenceLaws and Effects’ in Co. Laois alongside running ‘The Clothes Don’t Rape Exhibition’ to highlight the problems with our justice system and how victims are revictimized during court cases.

Leona’s passion and commitment to support other victims of sexual violence led to her opening Irelands first ‘Survivors Support Anonymous 12 Step Programme’ a peer led support group. We talk about the difficulties in running support groups aimed at survivors of sexual trauma and how she has designed a programme focused on improving participants lives through providing appropriate tools to help them move forward with hope.

You would not be blamed for thinking that this interview would be hard listening and maybe even fall into feeling sorry for Leona. But we can honestly say that listening to Leona telling her story you will not leave this interview with any of those concerns. Leona is a strong, formidable woman who demonstrated to us all that speaking out can bring you from a dark place into a hopeful future.

Take care

Joyce, June and Paula

Episode 28 - Peter McGuire, Freelance Journalist - ‘The Importance of Responsible Journalism’

Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour Helpline is open 1800 77 8888

In today’s podcast (episode 28 – ‘The Importance of Responsible Journalism’), we speak with Peter McGuire a freelance journalist who regularly contributes to The Irish Times and to - the investigative unit of about his experience of reporting on child sexual abuse and domestic violence.  

Formerly Peter was a university lecturer in Irish Folklore at UCD. His specialist areas include health, education, science, youth affairs, consumer and human interest. He also has extensive investigative experience. In 2016, Peter received a grant from the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund to work on a series of articles on child sexual abuse.

His latest articles, published on Noteworthy, investigate the experience of domestic abuse and child abuse victims during the Covid-19 pandemic and will be published from Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st April 2020.

We talk to Peter about the impact the media has on victims of abuse and how poor reporting can have such negative influences for everyone when it comes to understanding the complexities of this crime. We discuss how using the wrong terminology when reporting any sexual crimes can have far reaching consequences when trying to encourage people to invest in the supports of its victims and what changes he feels need to happen to improve not only a journalist understanding of abuse but how to ensure that victims do not feel used by the media when telling of their experiences.

We hope by sharing our experiences and observations of working with the media we will help not only other victims who come forward but also the journalists who report on them to see that we all have firstly, a duty of care to the victim, but also a responsibility to not sensationalise peoples life experiences.

Take Care

Joyce, June and Paula

Episode 27 - Were there is a Will - They Can Find A Way!

'Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour Helpline is open 1800 77 8888

In today's podcast (episode 27 - Were there's a will -they can find a way) we continue delving into the intense fear gripping the world today and how it relates to and impacts victims of childhood sexual abuse and trauma. We talk about the underlying global pandemic of child sexual abuse and how its victims have been failed time and time again by those in positions of power.

We consider how different our lives could be if they just had the will to make the necessary changes. We also talk about the current services that are in crisis, and if considered essential services, why have they not received any additional funding at a time when the need for such specialist supports are vital to thousands of victims.

We will be discussing what has to happen to tackle the offenders of child sexual abuse and the growing incidents of domestic violence during this time, when victims are basically trapped into a pressure cooker environment with their abusers. How in our opinion, there is an urgent need for change in how we approach the treatment and support to both victims and abusers and how we all need to pull together if we are ever to end these horrendous crimes that impact us all.

We hope by sharing our experiences and observations we will help others know they are not alone and women and children need to be given the best opportunities to live a life without fear

Take Care

Joyce, June and Paula

Audio of Blog - Living in Fear! Now Can You See Me?

We have spent years trying to help people understand the fear experienced by children who suffer child abuse or childhood trauma and how that fear impacts their lives. We do this not just to provide a deeper understanding of the crime itself, but also to help those in a position of power comprehend that fighting for lifelong supports to be put in place for victims, is warranted. At present no government in any country has stood up to the task but we will not give up until that position changes.

It occurred to me while recording our latest podcast that the Corona pandemic may provide us the perfect opportunity to succeed in this endeavor as we now have a real life experience of intense fear that everyone alive can relate to, which could improve the likelihood and willingness of people in positions of power to finally understand why it can take a lifetime to recover from being sexually abused.

To fully utilise the experience of fear gripping the world today to for the greater good and help us fuel the desired outcome I would like to demonstrate a small comparison between the fear experienced by children who are sexually abused and where we find ourselves today.


I woke to the sound of my alarm and as I reached to grab my phone, for a split second I forgot what was happening in the world and thought about the job I once looked so forward to going to.

When reality kicked in, I felt a heaviness in my chest from a mixture of anxiety and fear. I gave out to myself yet again for not deleting my alarm as it is now three weeks since I left my home and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.

I delay getting up and turn on my tv to block out the silence only to be hit with another news bulletin about how many deaths worldwide has occurred overnight. Fresh warnings about staying indoors run across the bottom of the screen and the warning that the police were mounting roadblocks to stop you if you break the curfew.

I feel a tightness in the pit of my stomach that is now a constant, along with the unwelcome sound of my heart pounding.  I feel the familiar sensations of tingling rushing through my body and I sit on the side of the bed screaming in my head, in an attempt to stop the inevitable panic that is coming.

The voice on the TV keeps repeating ‘stay at home’ like it’s a new mantra. Don’t listen to any news source but us as there is a lot of fake news out there and it will only get you distressed. Trust no one, not even your grandchildren, as they may be infected, we are the only ones that you should go to for the truth, We have your best interest at heart, We are here doing our best to protect you and will always put your health first.

Social media bombards you with repeating the death toll and how easy it is to be infected by standing too close to someone, or touching your face or an item that comes through the post because the virus can be still alive for a long time after an infected person touches it.

I am terrified all the time, I don’t know who to listen to and the voice in my head won’t stop as it tells me I could get sick and die all alone surrounded by people in hazmat suits. So, I stay isolated and alone every day. I am too afraid to go outside and yet I feel just as afraid indoors. I feel so trapped and alone. Who can I speak to, no one will understand, and they won’t believe just how bad it is? I am not sure I could explain this feeling. I am afraid of everyone and everything.

When I do speak to other members of my family on the phone, they all seem to be coping just fine, so I am not going to tell them how bad I am. They seem to be handling this situation so much better than me so it must be me. I must be mad or weak or stupid. I don’t think they really care about me.  I would feel ashamed and embarrassed telling them I’m terrified. They have their own lives to live. I am all alone in this, I’ll have to find a way to cope.

I try but struggle to change my focus, my legs won’t work, I have no one to call they are at least an hour’s drive from me, so they won’t be able to arrive on time to save me. The tears start to stream down my cheeks, and I can’t breathe what will I do? I think about dying alone in a makeshift hospital surrounded by people in hazmat suits. God what a way to go.

I reach into my dresser to grab more painkillers. These pills the doctor prescribed to lessen my panic leave me feeling exhausted and not wanting to do anything, so I climb back into bed and pull the covers up over my head.


I woke abruptly to the covers being pulled off me and I scramble to pull my nightdress down to cover myself. “get the fuck up now” he said  

I immediately feel the heaviness in my chest of anxiety and fear. My movements are laboured, and my heart is heavy because I dread facing another day of hell.

I get dressed and head downstairs only to hear him shouting at everyone “get the fuck out to work ‘Now’ and I won’t tell you again

I slowly walk out to work in the factory (it’s a large extension attached to our home) and hear him, in response to a question telling one of my brothers that he shouldn’t listen to the news reports its all fucking lies anyway and if he wants to know anything just ask him.

My father is a bully who rules the house with lies, intimidation and fear. He has control over where and when I go anywhere, what I do with my time, who I see and what I watch on tv and what I listen to on the radio.

He is constantly telling us that no one can be trusted and that family stick together and that he is the only one who can protect us.

He is always clicking his fingers shouting out orders to everyone.  I am cleaning up when I feel him behind me, I know what he wants, the hairs on my neck stand up and my heart is thumping, the blood is rushing to my head. There is no escape, no one coming to save me, I escape in the only way I know, by going inside my head to a dark space until its over.


Because of this pandemic I may no longer need expressions like, imagine if this was you, only to see people struggle to either bring an image or an emotion to the surface. Although I believe childhood fear during abuse is worse than the fear we are all being exposed during this pandemic, I still feel, when I explain the fear and anxiety I grew up with, everyone now has some sense of what childhood fear can feel like not only for me but for those like me.

Today the source of that fear comes in messages we receive daily such as, the fear of what could happen if we don’t stay at home and stay away from others. We are asked not to buy into conspiracy theories or streams of information coming from social media stating that we should only trust reliable sources, we don’t ask who these reliable sources are but instead we accept they are, as we are told in the media. We are assured that our government have our best interest at heart and that they are here to protect and guide us.

The people holding all the control can go unchallenged because we all want to believe that no one would willingly hurt us. The same applies to children being abused, quite often by someone they know and trust. As children they are hurt and confused as they too don’t want to believe someone would willingly hurt them.  

The feelings of self-hatred and blame destroy any chance of the child breaking free from their situation and just like all of us today they adapt to their environment and do all they can to bury the fear and anxiety. Sadly these feelings become a way of life and although they are often unconscious, they can lead to an inability to ask for help.


My hope is that you can see through this small example how today's pandemic could be triggering for survivors of childhood abuse and the similarities in the control and power imbalance.

It is my wish that victims have compassion for themselves and an admiration for the strength and courage they possess to survive childhood sexual abuse or trauma.

This pandemic could have some very positive outcomes if we only try to see that we are all impacted when even one of us is suffering. It is my belief that only when we come together can we make the lasting changes that benefit everyone.

Published by Paula Kavanagh 

Episode 26 - Fear is a Choice!

'Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse you can call the Sexual Violence Centre Cork on (01800) 496 496.

 In today’s podcast we will be discussing how we are coping with the fear and anxiety that is currently taken hold of our world as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic.

We discuss how our response to this situation is amplified because of the fear and trauma we experienced being sexually abused as children.  We talk about how our childhood trauma has created a default response to fear for all of us and how those responses are often unconscious.

We are very aware that countless other victims of childhood sexual abuse and trauma may also be experiencing similar responses to the current situation. We hope that by sharing our experiences and observations we will help others to know they are not alone, and unlike when we were children and had no choice in our responses to our fear, today as adults we do.

Take Care

Joyce, June and Paula

Episode 25 - Mary Crilly, Founder and Director of Sexual Violence Centre Cork

'Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse you can call the Sexual Violence Centre Cork on (01800) 496 496.

 In today’s podcast we will be talking to Mary Crilly, Founder and Director of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork (SVCC). SVCC is a non-profit community organisation that opened its doors for the first time in 1982. The Centre has been providing services to victims of sexual violence in Cork for over 38 years.

Mary is a formidable woman and her strength and resilience in advocating for women’s equality and the right for those who have experienced sexual violence or child abuse to receive appropriate services is something she has fought for, for over three decades.  She was the first in Cork to introduce counselling and support to women, men and teenagers who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.

Mary is a Member of the Irish National Observatory on VAW.  She holds an MA in Women’s Studies and a Diploma in The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour. In 2019, the University College Cork presented Mary with the ‘Inaugural Equality Award’ for her role in promoting equality diversity and inclusion with a focus on her work as director of the centre for sexual violence.  In 2000 she established OSS Cork (Domestic Violence Information Resource Centre) an NGO dedicated to providing supports to victims of Domestic Violence.  She is also the author of ‘Violence in Ireland. The Criminal Justice System – A Guide for Victims’.

In 2019 Mary was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer and following a major operation and months of intense treatment she is feeling fighting fit. In her own words “I am more determined than ever to fight for survivors of sexual abuse”.

Mary talks about how she feels about TUSLA’s introduction of their latest guidelines for stress testing victims of sexual abuse by their alleged abuser and what she feels needs to happen next. Meeting Mary was something we will not forget in a hurry. She is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

Take Care

Joyce, June and Paula

Audio of Blog - The Silver Lining in the Corona Virus

It’s frightening and surreal to think that we, or those we love could be harmed or even die from this virus and being confined and isolated from those we love only heightens the sense of panic we feel and makes it all the harder to manage our emotions.  The constant reports, news bulletins and all the possible conspiracy theories that are floating around out there is not helpful.  It only succeeds in dragging me into the panic that can shut me down emotionally if I let it. 


I watch my neighbours rally around ensuring no one is left alone or stranded and even social media, that can often be negative, is filled with positive stories of people pulling together to support one another. Almost hourly there are posts of communities finding creative ways to demonstrate that no one is alone in this crisis. It is heartening to see people using humour to lift themselves and those around them to stay the course and see the possibilities that can come from hard times.

It’s amazing to see how those that find themselves on the front line (nurses etc) that normally have to fight to be recognised and valued for the work they do, are finally shining through as the real heroes when the chips are down. They not only are on the front line but are willing to put themselves in harm’s way without ever being asked, in order to keep us all safe and cared for.


I really feel within this crisis we are being handed an opportunity to truly know who we are when all the running and doing we normally fill our days with has been removed.  Some have turned to reading, art, baking, having fun (a thing most of us have forgotten how to do), spending genuine quality time with those they live with. Each day we are finding more and more creative ways to stay in touch with the family members we cannot physically touch at the moment. 

In some ways it has brought me back to my childhood, and aside from the abuse, I do recall the neighbourhood I grew up in, where people looked out for each other, shared what little they had, left doors unlocked and knew without a doubt they had someone to lean on if and when it was needed. 

That time has been offered again as we watch neighbourhoods find ways to interact within the restricted guidelines, enjoy being playful, being creative with simple everyday household items, turning to arts and crafts and most importantly never forgetting the most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods and society in general. 

Many shops seem to have taken the focus off making money and instead are looking at ways to get people through this rough time.  Their commitment to their staff and customers and making sure everyone is kept safe is reassuring to see.

Celebrities and those in positions of influence are pulling together to lift people’s spirits through music and positive messages, again all with the intention of letting us know we are all in this together.

I think it’s magical and although at times I still struggle thinking I should be doing something more, I acknowledge that I am really enjoying doing the things I like and want to do, rather than simply doing things mechanically because it has become my norm.  I find it interesting to know that when things I previously thought vital to my life like going to work, school pickups etc are removed, my world is not falling apart, and life goes on regardless.

I have returned to listening to music. I almost forgot what enjoyment I get from it. I am now taking time to develop a playlist of music that I loved throughout my childhood and teenage years. For as much as I love listening to music, I had forgotten how it lifts my mood and spirit. Until now it was just another thing I put off because I was too busy with things, I believed were more important.  


I believe this time is an opportunity to live rather than merely function. To relax and realise that regardless of the roles we play i.e. mother, wife, sister, friend we are being given a gift of time. Time that we have all forgotten can be filled with people and things we love. Time to look at how we normally fill our time stressing about what has to be done rather than what is really important.  Time to explore what fills our heart, makes us laugh till our stomachs ache, what moves us to tears, time to recognise how much we love and are loved by those around us.  

We are all so familiar with always being busy that we struggle when that feeling is removed.  If we are lucky, we work really hard throughout the year hoping to afford a two-week holiday. The holiday that we almost always waste the first week trying to relax with doing nothing and re-connecting with ourselves. By the time we have finally relaxed its time to go home.

I believe we deserve more than a life filled with to-do lists and deadlines that must be met. The time we spend running back and forth to work, shops, home all without even being conscious of how we spend our days, weeks and even years. This virus has given us the gift of time to re-evaluate our lives, to look and see what fills your soul and what changes you can make to not only survive but really live, live a life full of possibilities.

I also believe that the gift of time has also been given to our planet. The time to repair the damage we as humans have caused. With less people running around in cars polluting the air, we are reducing the toxins in the air we breathe, especially in our towns and cities. It is also allowing rivers and lakes to heal, for fish and dolphins to swim in the lakes that were so full of pollutants that it wasn’t possible before this outbreak.


It is inspiring that throughout this epidemic communities have reconnected with what is important. We are all gaining a better understanding of who we are, what matters in our lives. We are selfless in our volunteering, our support for those in our communities that need more help, like the old and sick. We are seeing the true heroes in our communities come to the frontline on our behalf.

I hope we all learn to appreciate that material things don’t really matter in the end. It is the people in our lives that help us to survive and whom we survive for.  We do so much better when we look out for one another. Our lives are richer, more creative, inspiring, thoughtful when we understand that supporting each other is what brings the most joy and happiness in our lives.

Through these times we are being offered a way of swapping the attitude of every man for himself to a deep understanding that we need each other and looking out for others really feeds our souls.  I hope that when this is all over, we all pull together and ensure that the frontline healthcare workers who are literally risking their lives for us and who in the past were undervalued and totally unsupported financially will finally receive respect and the tangible benefits that they deserve.

The only thing I believe the government are getting right is their constant message of ‘We are all in this together’.

Joyce Kavanagh 23rd March 2020

Episode 24 - Rachel Moran, Author, Activist and Campaigner

'Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24 hour Helpline is open 1800 77 8888

In today’s podcast (Episode 24) we will be talking with Rachel Moran, Author, Activist and Campaigner.

Rachel grew up on the north side of Dublin. She had a difficult childhood. Both of her parents suffered mental health issues and her father committed suicide when she had just turned 14. She ended up in residential care, and during her time there at the age of 15 she met a man who quickly introduced her to prostitution where she stayed until the age of 22 when she courageously managed to break free and put that life behind her.

At age 24 Rachel returned to education and gained a Degree in Journalism from Dublin City University (DCU) where she won the Hybrid Award for Excellence in Journalism. Over the years she has taken part in many newspaper, radio and television interviews both home and abroad. Her bestselling book ‘Paid For - My Journey through Prostitution’ was in the Top Ten Irish bestselling books for over twelve weeks

Rachel is passionate about creating change and has taken part in a TEDxDCU event in November 2013. Her talk was entitled Transforming Lives and Societies through Legislative Change.  She has appeared on the Late, Late show on a number of occasions and continues to fight injustice at every turn. We will talk about the many campaigns that Rachel has spearheaded and been involved in, and discuss her views on the latest campaign ‘We Don’t Buy It’ and why she is fervently against the deregulation of prostitution in Ireland.

Take Care

Joyce, June and Paula 

Audio of Blog - Accountability! - Harvey Weinstein

I was blown away when I heard the announcement of Harvey Weinstein’s sentence.  It felt like a personal win to me and I found myself checking the news, to be sure I wasn’t mistaken and that he had indeed, received a 23-year prison sentence. Even now I have to say WOW.

The women involved in this case may never know how many lives they have saved as their bravery has made an enormous impact across the globe.  This is a victory for all victims of abuse everywhere.

To see someone, previously referred to as a ‘Giant of the Movie Industry’ being held to account for his actions is evidence of real change that will inspire more victims to speak out while putting all predators on notice, with particular emphasis on the rich, famous and powerful ones.

It was remarkable that Judge James Burke, gave no credence to pleas from Weinstein’s legal representatives when asked to consider Weinstein’s personal charitable giving, advanced age, medical issues and lack of criminal history.  This judge demonstrated the wisdom of his position to realise that none of those attributes curtailed his sexual misconduct, so why should they factor at all when considering his sentence.  Wouldn’t it be great if judges worldwide got this message?

Watching this case unfold reminded me of being in court, prosecuting our father for sexually abusing us as children. We were told repeatedly that our fathers age, health and standing in the community are very likely to result in a non-custodial sentence. Thank god it didn’t work out that way as he received a seven-year sentence. 

We continue to be horrified by the number of cases in the Irish courts where these personal attributes that have absolutely nothing to do with the crime, are not only considered but are in some cases the deciding factors when it comes to sentencing of sexual predators. This is shameful. And my only hope is that this case will act as turning point for how things should be done.


It was fascinating to hear that not only did Weinstein speak in court, but he did so despite the advice of his very experienced and expensive legal team.  Weinstein practically blamed his legal team for his silence throughout the case whilst continuing to ignore their repeated attempts to hush him as he spoke for about twenty minutes in court.  

Weinstein with no sense of understanding of the lasting harm he had done, expressed his remorse for the situation he found himself in.  He displayed his complete ignorance about consent and lamented about how the allegations had impacted his personal life. He was outspoken about the confusion he felt not only for himself but for all men as he felt he did not understand why this was happening.  He expressed his fear at the lack of due process for men and stated he was really worried about his country.

He continued to speak about his total confusion about how he has ended up where he was as he felt he had consensual relationships with these women.  He felt lots of other men would also be confused if they were to be accused of sexual abuse. He wanted the judge to speak to people he felt had greatly benefitted from his charitable work (naming 9/11 in particular). It was clear that he believed he had done nothing wrong and that what was happening to him in the courts was both unfair and an injustice.


To me, all predators when caught, focus their concern on what is happening to them and how they have been personally impacted, without a thought for their victims.  It seems of great importance to them that we understand the pain they are in.  They have no desire to understand the damage they have done to their victims. These similarities tell us something about the type of people we are dealing with.

My father’s only words when receiving his sentence was ‘I hope you are all fucking happy now’.  I have no doubt, he believed we were the ones that caused him great pain while he remained oblivious to the pain he had brought into our lives. 

The closest my father ever came to an apology was on one of his early court appearances. My sisters, brothers and my mother were all huddled in a circle standing in the hallway of the packed courthouse.  My father appeared behind Paula and attempted to push past her to get to my mother. Paula was not moving. He was furious with the veins standing out on his neck. He had no choice but to continue with the speech he had prepared from the outskirts of the group.  He spit his words out. He was so angry that he could no longer intimidate us to move and let him speak to my mother.

He began to mutter some form of apology to my mother. She was not interested in anything he had to say and simply ignored him.  He was furious at our lack of obedience and Paula’s continued obstruction really bothered him.  The audacity of him attempting to act like the leader he believed he was, while spurting out an insincere apology and expecting that to change everything.  The Guards noticed him and walked towards us to remove him, so he had to reluctantly walk off, still enraged, believing we were the problem.

I find it interesting that regardless of what case is taking place in the media, but particularly when it’s a big case, memories of our own experience get triggered. I feel a great sense of pride in the courageous women involved in all sexual abuse cases and hope these women know how amazing they are and what a great service they are doing for the millions of victims out there.


Recently I watched an American TV series called ‘The Morning Show’, produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston (Alex) and Reese Witherspoon (Bradley). This show, although fictional, provided some insight into the world of rich and powerful men like Harvey Weinstein.

The programme is based on a news and talk morning television show that is thrown into chaos when Alex’s (Jennifer) on-air partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carell) is fired for allegations of sexual misconduct.  

Mitch is loved by the audience and appears to be admired by all the production team. He presents as charming, funny and charismatic. However, as the plot unravels it becomes clear that Mitch has used his position and influence to make or break careers of ambitious females within his industry, not unlike what Weinstein did.  

What is very interesting throughout the series is seeing the struggle all the characters within the show had with understanding Mitches behaviour, how they had played a role in maintaining his belief that he was entitled to do what he was doing and there was nothing wrong with it. It explores how those around him, especially the heads of the network colluded in allowing him to basically get away with sexual abuse for years as all they focused on was the ratings.

Mitches own struggle with accepting that his behaviour had serious consequences for the women he abused was demonstrated so well.  Even the female colleagues and specifically Alex his co-anchor and friend really didn’t want to see that they had turned a blind eye to what he did accepting that it was just his way and in fact the way of the world of business.

This programme will challenge you to see how easy it is to work in or live in a toxic culture. A culture that allows those with all the power to do what they want to whom they want. It demonstrates how we all can turn a blind eye to injustice as to speak out would mean the chance of losing careers, friends or family members.  But more importantly it shows how powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile can and did get away with abuse even when it’s in plain sight, they are aware that if you turn away once you are unlikely to every speak out.

Joyce Kavanagh - Marcy 16th 2020

Episode 23 - Interview with Eve Farrelly - CARI

'Trigger Warning' if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the CARI Helpline (Lo Call 1890 924 567)

In today’s podcast (Episode 23 - Interview with Eve Farrelly, Executive Director of CARI, (Children at Risk in Ireland). Eve holds a master’s in management, business, marketing and related support services, she also has a master’s in criminology, a BA in Psychology and advanced Diploma in Date Protection Law.

Eve brings us up to speed on the services offered by CARI as well as highlighting the shortfalls in resources that forces them to have a waiting list for children and their families to enter their services.  Sadly, currently CARI have 85 Children on their waiting list.  Eve also speaks candidly about Tulsa’s latest legislation where an abuser may have the right to question their victim in person.

CARI have two full time offices in Dublin and Limerick.  They provide specialised therapy for children and young people who have been affected by child sexual abuse. They also support the families through the process. Children are referred after their disclosure has been investigated or if they have witnessed sexual assaults on someone else with the aim of ensuring their experience does not go on to define their life. CARI also provides therapy to children, up to (and including) twelve-year olds, who present with sexually harmful behaviour. to enter their services.  

It is inspiring to hear the passion Eve has for her job along with her love for the children she deals with. Her wealth of knowledge and understanding of the effects of this crime is very comforting leaving us yearning that we could have met someone like her when we were young girls.

We hope that this series of interviews help highlight the supports that currently exist, the struggles they face daily to deliver these services and to further emphasize the lack of country wide supports. This demonstrates both the lack of will from our government to take this crime seriously and the need for those in power to understand the impacts of this crime, not only on its victims but on society as a whole.  Hopefully we can unite and get the results we need to tackle sexual abuse and all that goes with that.

Take care

Joyce, June and Paula



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