|Hanna's House Statement In Support of Survivors of Institutional Abuse|
‘The Exclusion of the Magdalene Laundry women from the Redress Process/Truth Recovery process combined with the gagging clause imposed on survivors of institutional abuse following from their participation in the Redress Board constitutes a fundamental violation of the right to legal remedy under international human rights law and Ireland's international treaty obligations. Moreover, it undermines Ireland's stated commitments to women rights and realizing the full and equal dignity of all persons.’ (Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, University of Ulster).
On 11th February Hanna’s House, an organization working for an active feminist community throughout Ireland, held a conference on truth recovery. The conference heard powerful testimonies from women activists across Ireland about the need for women’s experience of human rights abuses to be recognized and acknowledged. Speakers addressed in particular the impact of the conflict in the North of Ireland and the impact of institutional abuse in the South of Ireland. Read the report from the conference.
On the day of the conference it became clear that in our society there is an ongoing contest between remembering and forgetting and therefore the process of gaining acknowledgement of past abuses is not an easy one. While some gains have been made there has been also a process of systematic exclusion and silencing. The experience of the Magdalene Laundry women has been excluded from the Ryan investigation process and the Redress scheme. There have also been gagging orders placed on those victims and survivors who testified about institutional abuse to the Redress Board. Hanna’s House believe that these acts are deeply unjust and are prejudicial to the sustained efforts that are needed to create a just outcome for the victims and survivors of institutional abuse and for our whole society.
‘The uncertainty surrounding the gagging order has resulted in survivors living with the fear that writing or speaking of their experiences will result in criminal prosecution. This has created a new source of fear and has had the effect of silencing survivors, thereby creating an obstacle to possibilities for healing and for truth recovery’. (Dr Ger Moane, University College Dublin).
We call for the gagging orders to be overturned and for the experience of the Magdalene Laundry women to be included in an ongoing process of truth recovery about institutional abuse. Hanna’s House believes that that we must, as a society, acknowledge and account for past wrongs in order to create a better future.
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|View photos from various Hanna's House events|