Press Release

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children opens the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) Annual Conference

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children will open the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) Annual Conference on Thursday 29th March 2007.

NOTA are a multi-disciplinary association whose aim is to support and promote work with sex offenders. NOTA aim to develop and extend professional knowledge about sexual aggression, treatment techniques and policy development; initiate, conduct and disseminate research conducted by the organisation, its members, and others.

Minister O’Malley spoke about NOTA’s participation in the Health Service Executive’s Working Group which is considering the treatment needs of persons who exhibit sexually harmful behaviour. This Group brings together a number of experts from around the country from within the statutory and the non-statutory sectors, to consider not only treatment needs, but also to advise the HSE on the strategic approach it should take in relation to the delivery of services. Minister O’Malley described their participation as “a very positive development because we know the most effective way of stopping cycles of sexual abuse is the provision of effective treatment options for those who have harmed others sexually, be they adults, young people or children”.

Minister O’Malley noted the impressive range of workshops that are to be held during the conference which will address the complex nature of this issue, and expressed confidence that all of those involved will find them extremely beneficial. “When combined with the presentations and discussions that are to be held over the next two days I have no doubt that there will be many positive outcomes from this conference”. he said

Network organisations like NOTA are, according to the Minister, extremely important in the development of best practice, sharing new developments in this crucial area of work and providing an opportunity to forge and develop interagency and multi-disciplinary working. NOTA is also remarkable and successful in its bringing an all-island perspective to the work of making Ireland a safer place, particularly for women, children and men. “I know anecdotally that many working in this field, North and South, would credit NOTA for providing significant impetus for some of the development in work in the area of sexual violence over recent years”, he said, adding “I am confident that NOTA will once again contribute in no small way to the further development of strategic approaches to the problems posed by sexual abuse in our societies”.