THE RAPE CRISIS Network Ireland (RCNI) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Justice that serious criminals will have their DNA logged in an international database.
A spokesperson for the RCNI told TheJournal.ie said the justice system should be a deterrent alone for perpetrators of sexual violence but said that the DNA database is “one more tool that will deter and hopefully, catch those guilty of committing acts of sexual violence”.
She added that one of the problems faced is the difficulty in prosecuting people, saying: “The more we close the gap in catching these people, the better. If this new database can stop people from thinking that they can do what they want and get away with it and not get caught, then that is a good thing,” she said.
“The fact that DNA will be taken from those who have committed serious crimes, and not just those who are serving a sentence for sexual violence. In other countries where DNA databases have been in existence for some time sexual violence suspects have been detected in this manner,” she said.
The RCNI spokesperson said that the majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows already, often resulting in one person’s word against another in court.
“But if DNA can be gathered successfully after an attack, then it can add to the prosecution,” she said, adding “there is a lot of cases for which this DNA database won’t matter, but if it is one more tool we can use to ensure that justice is served and that women are protected then it is great to see it finally come to fruition”.