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Increase in number of people availing of support for rape and sexual violence

Rape Council Network Ireland saw an increase of almost 10 per cent in people using its counselling services in 2010.

Minister of State and member of the board at the Rape Crisis Centre, Jan O'Sullivan pictured at the launch of the annual report today
Minister of State and member of the board at the Rape Crisis Centre, Jan O'Sullivan pictured at the launch of the annual report today
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THERE WAS AN increase of almost 10 per cent in the number of people taking up counselling and support for rape and sexual violence last year, figures released today show.

Rape Crisis Network Ireland revealed in its annual report for 2010 that over 15,289 people contacted its helplines last year to access support services around the country.

The report found that of the people who made use of the RCNI, nearly one in three reported the sexual violence to the gardaí – the highest level of reporting in the history of RCNI data collection.

“We are learning more and more about the scale, extent and complexity of sexual violence in Ireland, which means that we are better equipped at stopping perpetrators and protecting children and adults,” said Fiona Neary, director of RCNI.

Neary said that the increased demand is putting “critical” pressure on an already creaking system of support.

She added that services could not be stretched any further and that cutbacks would end up costing the state more in the long term.

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“Research tells us that when victims of sexual violence do not get expert support they have no alternative but to turn to primary care services – which automatically impacts on health sector resources”.

In total 1,730 people took up counselling and support from the RCNI – an increase of over 9 per cent from 2009.

The report found that 90 per cent of people who had been through a single incident – as opposed to multiple attacks – knew their perpetrator.

About the author:

Christine Bohan

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