Safe Ireland commends the bravery of the survivors of Mother & Baby Homes, their families, and activists, who campaigned to name the systemic abuse of women, and their children, by State and Church, in the face of prolonged institutional resistance.
It said that the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is a painful exposition of the effects of the endemic misogyny and wilful ignorance which led to the incarceration of so many.
“It is extremely difficult to confront the horrors detailed in this report,” said Mary McDermott, CEO of Safe Ireland. “But we must do so. All state and religious institutions created and maintained this punitive network. A frank apology is a direct acknowledgement of this, as is recompense, access to information and life-long support. This completely unnecessary suffering is a trauma in Irish society. But we are brave enough to understand it at a deep level, heal it and never repeat it.”
“We are learning now to identify insidious patterns of coercion wherever they occur. Whether the pregnancies of the women and girls in these Mother and Baby Homes arose from ignorance, open loving innocence, or outright violation, they all created panic and shunning within families and communities,” she continued.
“Gender rules, created and enforced by State, Church and commercial interests, grounded this system. They devastated individuals, families and communities at that time and do so now. We unfortunately continue to confront this every day in our work with survivors of domestic violence. But this too can be changed.”
Featured Image Credits:
Original image titled ‘Underwater’ by Ellen McDermott
Illumination: Dodeca and Herstory