Support Available for Survivors of Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland
A little girl stands facing a wall seeming sad.

Learn about help available for victims and survivors of institutional abuse in Northern Ireland, including potential redress/compensation.

21 July 2023

The Commission for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse exists primarily to fulfil the organisation’s statutory duties, acting as the primary voice for Victims and Survivors of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland. On Thursday, 24 May, 2023, the London Irish Centre hosted a visit from the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland, Fiona Ryan. The Clinical Lead of our Irish Women’s Project, Mary Heffernan, attended the meeting on behalf of the Maya Centre. It was enormously helpful for us to meet directly with the Commissioner, her staff, and representatives of other organisations in the London-Irish community on this subject. We were able to hear about the work of the Commission and how it intends to operate an outreach to all parts of the UK.

Help available for victims and survivors of institutional abuse 

The Commissioner’s office will review, monitor and support the victims and survivors’ service in providing the best possible resources to their beneficiaries in Northern Ireland. The victims and survivors service assists in the following areas: 

  • Health and wellbeing: pain management, disability aids, complementary therapies and psychological support. 
  • Welfare advice and assistance as well as support engaging with related services and agencies.
  • Social support: social activities and befriending.
  • Personal Development: education and training opportunities or life coaching.
  • Records searches and information recovery relating to time in care as a child.

This service can be accessed from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, by phoning 028 9031 1678 or emailing

Am I eligible for redress/compensation? 

The Residential Institutions Redress Board will consider applications for compensation from anyone, or on behalf of anyone, who suffered abuse while a child and a resident in an institution in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 or who was sent to Australia as part of the Child Migrants programme. The Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse can provide general advice and information about applying to the Board — please contact them here

If you require further support and information on institutional abuse in Ireland (North or South), the London Irish Centre in Camden has a dedicated Survivor Service and a National Response Freephone line (0800 519 5519). Their phone line is open 10am to 4pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.