What Is Institutional Abuse?

Institutional Abuse

Institutional Abuse is the mistreatment by a person in authority or with responsibility of an individual under the care of an institution or organisation. This abuse can range from neglect and poor care to sexual and physical abuse within a care setting.

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At P.A Duffy & Co Solicitors, we represent victims of institutional abuse across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our human rights team are experienced, understanding and sympathetic and will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the compensation you are owed for what has happened.

Where can Institutional Abuse occur?

  • Schools

  • Foster Homes

  • NHS (hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres)

  • Emergency children’s placements

  • Religious organisations; churches, convents

  • Out of school activities- drama/sport club

  • Work environment 

How our human rights solicitors can help

At P.A. Duffy & Co. Solicitors, we realise that the long-term effects which institutional abuse has on a survivor are devastating. This can lead to damaged mental, social, and physical wellbeing.

It therefore important to seek the right legal advice to secure the compensation you deserve and require. We understand that this compensation will not correct the abuse you endured however it will help you afford after treatment, such as counselling, therapy sessions, a safe living environment and travelling to and from the hospital and support groups.

If you or a loved one is/has experienced institutional abuse, please follow the simple steps below to contact our Human Rights legal team and we will be sure to follow up on your enquiry.


What responsibilities do institutions have?

Practitioners who work within an institution have a duty of care and professionalism to those who use the service. If you believe you are/have been abused by someone who owed a duty of care, you may be entitled to compensation.

What types of institutional abuse can form the basis of a case?

  • Depriving the individual off adequate food and drink/ starving the individual

  • Misuse of medication

  • Neglecting the individuals’ religious, ethnic, and cultural needs

  • Preventing the individual off visits from family and friends

  • Physical/Sexual Abuse

  • Emotional Abuse- Blackmail

  • Failing to provide the individual with medical/personal equipment.

  • Delivering a neglected, congested, unhygienic, lack/poor quality of staff in the institution.

  • Inappropriate use of force

  • Failure to implement the individual’s privacy.

  • Failure to protect individual from harm- e.g. not cautioning an abusive service user

How can I finance an institutional abuse case?

We know that funding a case of this nature might be a worry, so we offer a range of options. These include:

  • Legal Aid

  • Legal expenses cover

  • After the Event insurance (ATE insurance)

  • Private payment

  • Our first consultation is free and we will be happy to discuss funding with you to find the best option for your circumstances.

What is the time limit for bringing an institutional abuse compensation claim?

There is no specific statutory time limit for bringing an institutional abuse claim. This means that there may not be a strict legal deadline by which you must file your claim. However, it is still important to act promptly, as gathering evidence and pursuing a claim can become more challenging with time.

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Our Human Rights Solicitors

Conal McGarrityConal McGarrityDirector
Enda McGarrityEnda McGarritySolicitor
Naomi WhiteNaomi WhiteSolicitor
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