Chief Executive of the One in Four charity has encouraged survivors of sexual abuse to reach out and seek support, following the latest revelations about abusers in Irish institutions.
Maeve Lewis was speaking on RTÉ's Liveline after last night's Documentary on One detailed sexual abuse suffered by siblings who attended Blackrock College in the 1970s and 1980s.
Other survivors of abuse also contacted Liveline to speak about their experiences and it's emerged that the Spiritan Order which runs Blackrock College and other schools has paid out over €5m in settlements and towards support services since 2004.
To date, 233 people have made complaints about 77 Irish Spiritans who worked in ministries in this country and overseas, with 57 people alleging that they were abused at Blackrock College.
Ms Lewis said that the organisation's "phones have been hopping today" following the Documentary.
"The programme really has triggered an awful lot of people with memories and levels of distress," she told the programme.
She said: "What I would say to people is: reach out; contact One in Four, contact one of the Rape Crisis Centres, the Rape Crisis Centre runs a 24-hou helpline which is available at any time of the day or night;, speak to your GP.
"There is help available. I would say to people, there are professionals who absolutely understand the distress you're going through. But there is hope, you really can with the proper help and support move through this."
"You'll never forget what happened, but you will learn to accommodate it into your life and move on and live a life that is more content and fulfilling. Reach out and get support. Also, if you can, talk to family and friends, you'll often find they're very supportive too," she said.
Ms Lewis said that while the revelations are distressing for people, "at least it's helping us realise that this is a huge problem in our society. Sexual abuse doesn't stop when the abuse stops, people carry the impact of it right through their lives."