Childline by ISPCC reports over 100 contacts made in relation to sexual abuse in past month

  • Ireland’s only 24hour listening service for children and young people launches national Christmas appeal as harrowing statistics reveal up to 10 contacts per week from teenagers pertaining to rape

Dublin, November 27th, 2023 – Childline by ISPCC has today launched a national Christmas appeal with heartbreaking statistics that reveal Ireland’s only 24-hour listening service for children and young people receives:

• 120,000 contacts each year of which almost one quarter are classified “level 4” – the most concerning.

• 26 contacts from children and young people in relation to child sexual abuse on a weekly basis. 

• 169 contacts about incest to date (November 27th, 2023)

• Weekly Childline by ISPCC receives between five to 10 contacts from teenagers about rape. 


This Christmas the team of staff and volunteers at ISPCC will be working hard to address these horrifying statistics. The 24/7 Childline listening service means that there is always someone to listen if a child or young person needs to share their story, during the festive season and all through the year.


Many of the contacts received by the team at ISPCC are heartbreaking. One of our volunteers Ciara* spoke several times to a little girl named Orla* who rang about how scared she was of the monster who came to her bedroom at night. 


This monster should have been one of the most trusted people in her life, but nine-year-old Orla was being sexually abused by a member of her family. 


Another volunteer Maria* tells of a young caller Jess* who was also being abused at home. Jess had been calling Childline regularly and through talking to our volunteers had built up her courage and determination to protect and save her siblings from her own horrifying experience. 


Orla and Jess’s experiences are not rare. According to the CSO Sexual Violence Survey 2022, 41% of respondents, aged 18-24, experienced sexual violence as a child. Of those surveyed, 83% of victims knew the perpetrator.


Mairead McGinn, Director of Fundraising, ISPCC said: “Childline relies heavily on public generosity to help keep us here for every child and young person 24 hours a day. We depend on donations for up to 75% of the funding which keeps us listening 24hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Every donation, no matter how small, makes a real difference and helps to ensure that we always provide a listening ear and support to those who need it.”

 In addition to our 24/7 Childline service, ISPCC is also playing an active role to help prevent child sexual abuse through a number of proactive initiatives.


“At ISPCC, we know how important technology is as a means of combatting child sexual abuse. We are delighted to be involved in the GroSafe research project with TU Dublin, the aim of which is to develop a technology-enabled solution to build societal resilience to child grooming,” said Fiona Jennings, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, ISPCC.


She continued: “We are also working with TU Dublin in an End Violence Against Children funded research project to develop a tool that reveals the patterns of adults perpetrating online child sexual abuse and the children who are affected by such violence.”’


To donate this Christmas, go to

*Names have been changed 




A new national hub for ISPCC as “Team Childline” logs over one million hours dedicated to listening to children and young people 24/7

ISPCC CEO John Church with Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman

For 35 years, Childline has been part of the fabric of Irish society and as we celebrate the opening of our new national hub in Dun Laoghaire with Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, we remain as dedicated as ever to our mission of supporting children and young people.  

ISPCC staff and volunteers are a united team, determined that there will always be someone to listen if a child or young person needs to talk.  

John Church, CEO ISPCC said: “Our new national hub is a tangible demonstration of our continuing commitment to the needs of children and young people and reflects our desire to provide the best possible working environment for the teams delivering Childline’s full suite of services.  The contemporary space enables us to continue to pursue and deliver a digital-first strategy, ensuring that we are there for every child or young person in Ireland. Anytime and for any reason.” 

“The ISPCC has played an important role in the support and protection of children and young people in Ireland over many years. It has created an anonymous and non-judgemental space for children and young people to be heard and to be listened to, and I hope ISPCC staff and volunteers enjoy many productive years in their new national hub,” said Minister O’Gorman. 

Staff and volunteers are at the very heart of Childline. They give back in the most generous spirit. One million hours is a phenomenal amount of time, equating to 114 years or 41,666 days. And yet that is the amount of time that ISPCC’s amazing volunteers have dedicated to Childline’s 24/7 listening service.  

Val Beegan, a volunteer who has been involved with Childline for over 25 years, says the most crucial issue over the last quarter century is the decline of mental health in children and young people.  

Mental health is one of the most common reasons children and young people contact helplines, including Childline, according to the recently published Voices of Children & Young People Around the World global child helpline data report.  

In just five days’ time (November 20), it is World Children’s Day, a day to support children’s rights. By then, Childline will have had over 85,000 connections with children and young people since the start of 2023.  

“There has never been a more important time than now to prioritise the mental health of young people, as families face financial uncertainty, while young people tackle new levels of social media pressure and are exposed to the reality of wars and a global pandemic at a very early age,” said John Church. Childline can be reached online at or by calling 1800 66 66 66. 

Some young people may feel that their issue is not important enough to seek support. But we believe everything in life is worth talking about.  

So if you really love Christmas, c’mon and let it show… by wearing a Christmas jumper for Childline

‘Tis the season, so don’t even try to resist… oh no, oh no… Instead embrace that Christmas sparkle. Don’t be a grinch saying ‘where’s me jumper?’, instead get it on for Childline this Christmas…

Getting dressed up is all part of Christmas fun. We’ve thought of the perfect way for you to show off your fabulously festive attire by hosting a Christas Jumper Day in aid of Childline your workplace, school, club or creche. You can even do it virtually for colleagues who aren’t in the office.

Everyone is invited to this fundraiser for Childline, Ireland’s only 24/7 listening service for children and young people.

Go to to set up your fundraising page. When you create your page, Childline by ISPCC will be in touch to help you pick a date for you and your colleagues, friends or family and can post out posters, stickers and balloons if needed!

We will also send you email signature, a zoom/teams background if needed as well as digital posters and proposed social media posts.

We’ve made our list, you see, and we’ve certainly checked it twice!

Together we can make a real difference for children and young people throughout Ireland.

ISPCC needs to raise over 75% of its funding through donations each year to ensure we can be there to support children and young people 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year.  We rely on the generosity of the public and are grateful for all support. We encourage children to reach out for any reason.