Mary Crilly has been awarded the March Cork Person of the Month award to acknowledge her work in helping victims of sexual violence.
This month marks the 35th anniversary of her leadership and work at the Sexual Violence Centre Cork.
Mary was the first in Cork to introduce counseling and support to women, men and teenagers who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.
Through the work of the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork City, Mary and her team engage in research, provide training and education and also works with the government, statutory and voluntary agencies in order to influence social policy.
"We acknowledge the courage it takes to make the first phone call to the Centre at 1800 496 496 or to visit us at 5 Camden Place, Cork City," said Mary Crilly.
"We get thousands of calls to our helpline every year and hundreds of callers to Camden Place - the courage of those people have kept me here all these years."
As Director of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork, Mary is calling for separate courts to fast track sexual assaults and rape cases as well as mandatory sentences.
She is calling for a commitment by An Garda Síochána to prioritise investigations into child sexual abuse where digital technology is a factor.
As the recipient of the March Cork Person of the Month award, Mary's name now goes forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year next January.