Police launched an investigation into allegations of abuse within Mother and Baby Institutions, Work Houses and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland on October 6, 2021.
These institutions housed many, including pregnant women and girls from 1922 to 1990 in Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are said to have lived, worked or visited these institutions over a 68-year period.
Officers in the dedicated investigation team have now received 80 reports from; mothers who were taken to one of these institutions to have their baby, those adopted from them, workers, or those who were once a resident.
The Police Service, this Christmas, are renewing their appeal and encouraging even more people to report to Police and have their voice heard.
Detective Superintendent Gary Reid said: “Christmas is considered to be a time for celebrations. However, for so many it can be really tough and only serve as a reminder of the hardships they have faced and family who are missing from around the tree.
“With the festive season upon us, we want to reiterate that the investigation into Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries and Workhouses is still very much ongoing.
“If you believe you were the victim of abuse or any other form of alleged criminality in any of these institutions, know somebody who was, or if you witnessed anything suspicious, please contact us.
“Specialist detectives are still available to talk over the Christmas period to anyone who makes a report to them. We want to give people who have felt silenced for so long, a voice.
“We care about what you have to say, will listen and support you, and will act to keep you and others safe. Don’t suffer in silence this Christmas.”
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Adele Johnston, from Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice NI said: “Christmas is a difficult time for victims and survivors of Northern Ireland’s Mother & Baby Institutions and Magdalene Laundries. Too many missing pieces, too many missing people and too much remembered trauma.
“If you have any information regarding the way that these institutions operated, or were directly affected by them, please contact the designated team within the Police Service. Your information will be treated with complete confidentiality.”
A dedicated reporting system is in place to make it easier for people to come forward. You will be spoken to by a specialist detective and signposted to further help and support.
If you wish to contact the dedicated Mother and Baby Institutions, Work Houses and Magdalene Laundries Investigative Team, you can do so via the following options:
Direct line (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm): 028 9090 1728
If you wish to contact the Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice NI group you can do so via Facebook or email: Birthmothersforjustice.firstname.lastname@example.org