In the century from 1868 to 1969, over 105,000 children were detained in industrial schools in Ireland, having been committed by the courts. The purpose of this paper is to examine, and offer suggestions regarding the contexts of the peer physical and sexual abuse and bullying that went on in the industrial schools.
This paper draws on the accounts of survivors, the results of research conducted by academics and journalists and recent reports compiled by legislative enquiries into industrial schools in Ireland, with particular reference being made to the the six industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers.
The specific parameters of how the industrial school system developed in Ireland rendered detainees powerless and voiceless, and these factors also facilitated the physical and sexual abuse of child and adolescent detainees by adults in this institutions. Serious instances of peer physical and sexual abuse also went on in these schools. It is argued that such patterns of peer abuse are best understood as occurring within the psychosocial contexts of primary adjustment, collaboration and re-enactment.
It is suggested that the context of peer abuse in institutions is important for researchers and practitioners to attend to.
The realities of life in industrial schools in Ireland has been slow to emerge, due to the secrecy with which those institutions have been surrounded. Most accounts have focused on abuse at the hands of adults; this examines peer abuse in those institutions in context.
Lynch, J.J. and Minton, S.J. (2016), "Peer abuse and its contexts in industrial schools in Ireland", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 76-85. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-11-2015-0199Download as .RIS
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