National Policy

Extract from Sonas Oireachtas Committee submission:

“We decided to make children the key focus of our submission to this committee not because we did not want to tell their mother’s stories too but we wanted to present the realities of the 300-400 children we engage with on a yearly basis; many of whom are silent witnesses to acts of unspeakable violence. First of all the children whose mothers come to Sonas for support, tend to be young: two out of three children are under the age of 10; while the single biggest group, around one third of children, are under the age of 5. For many domestic violence is their earliest memory, when I say domestic violence, I mean the physical and psychological assault on their mother or themselves.

I do not wish to distress the committee but we have babies who have been punched because their mother was holding them at the time she was attacked; we have children who witnessed their mothers being sexually assaulted including a 2-year-old who was in the same room at the time; children who were beaten by perpetrators or their mothers forbidden to comfort them.”