Where it all began
Our journey begins with Marie herself. In 1960, Marie was in hospital in Dublin, Ireland, for a routine operation on her arm. She was afraid and lonely. She had not been away from her family before, so when they hospital chaplain started stopping by her room to see if she was ok, she was delighted. Her family were delighted too. This chaplain seemed to be liked by everyone.
He read to her. He played games with her. He made her forget the operation and alleviated the boredom. Then one day his games changed. He started touching her and making her touch him. He took photos of her abuse. He made sure that Marie would not tell. He told her there was something wrong with her if she thought what he was doing was wrong. She felt she was the one to blame and stayed silent. Marie was only 13 years old.
When, thirty years later Marie eventually reported her abuse, her primary concern was where the photos were and who had seen them. She says that the moment of her greatest humiliation was there for all to see. It had a huge impact on her life.
Abusers will stop at nothing and use everything and anything at their disposal to target, groom and exploit children online for their sexual purposes. We saw this with Marie, and we are seeing it every day in the work we do at MCF.
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