Magdalene asylums or Magdalene laundries were institutions where “fallen women” were prisoning. Families and priests were sending the girls or women who claimed as poor moral or sexual promiscuity. 1765 was the date of first Magdalene laundries opened. In the first years of laundries, main aim was rehabilitation. But in a short period, laundries turned to prisons. Girls on Magdalene laundries forced for hours of praying, needle work and laundry work. They had to be silent if there’s no prayer. It’s known that over 30,000 girl was sent to this prisoners. How many years Magdalene laundries lasted?
Magdalene Laundries became national news in 1999. News was about physical and sexual abuse in laundries. Channel 4 also made interviews with inmates. Program’s name was “Sex in a Cold Climate”.
Lots of documentaries and movies are made for Magdalene Laundries. Some of them are “The Forgotten Maggies” and “The Magdalen Whitewash”.
Problems on laundries are known as “The Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Ireland” in the world. After British researches, all torture details were on the newspapers and at Pope Benedict XVI wrote an apology letter for it.
Today, girls and women in Magdalene Laundries are accepting as abuse victims. Government is searching for women stayed in this laundries but there are only a few answers. Famous Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor lived in this laundries as a teenager and she’s working for Irish government now. Also Justice for Magdalenes commission is working on Eu for the torture on these laundries. Last Magdalene laundries are closed in 1996 and it lasted 231 years of these prisons.
This is very simplistic therefore not accurate or informative, these institutions existed all over the world not just in Ireland.