The abused child?

Moira Maguire

in Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780719080814
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702604 | DOI:
The abused child?

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This chapter investigates the physical and sexual violence to which children were subjected in twentieth-century Ireland. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), in spite of its founding mission to protect children from ‘cruelty,’ rarely dealt with explicit cases of cruelty, abuse, or assault in the course of their daily rounds. The use of corporal punishment in national schools is then discussed. Children were subject to a significant degree of sexual violence in twentieth-century Ireland. Sentencing and conviction patterns show that sexual crimes against children were not treated as serious, and no one recognized the potentially harmful long-term effects of sexual abuse on children. Irish society at all levels tolerated a degree of violence against children that was striking in its regularity and routineness.

Keywords: physical violence; sexual violence; Ireland; ISPCC; corporal punishment; national schools; children; sexual abuse

Chapter.  14209 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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