More than 10,000 victims of crime have called a national helpline for support over the last five years, it emerged today.
The National Crime Victims Helpline marked its fifth anniversary this month with a plea for volunteers in the Dublin region to come forward.
Statistics show that since it was set up it had over 10,000 contacts from people all around the country over crimes or for information about other agencies.
Co-ordinator Maeve Ryan said the majority related to violent assaults and difficulties with the criminal justice system.
“People call us for all types of reasons, but most calls relate to peoples’ efforts to deal with the after-effects of an assault – usually an assault in which the victim is entirely innocent and is set upon by another person or group of people,” said Ms Ryan.
“This can understandably be a terrifying experience and people affected by such crimes require varying levels of independent assistance in dealing with the many issues which emerge.
“We also have quite a number of callers who experience difficulty in dealing with the criminal justice system. Many victims of crime feel that the system is unwieldy and uncaring.
“We realise that much has been done to address this issue, but for many people there is a feeling that the perpetrator has all the support, while they are left pretty much unsupported and isolated.”
The national helpline number is 1850 211 407 or people can text 085 133 7711.
Ms Ryan said it was rewarding to offer assistance to so many people who may feel isolated, anxious, angry, sad, nervous and afraid as a result of a crime.
“They find emotional support on the phone, while others may have questions about the justice system, or ask for information on local services for victims of crime in their area,” she added.