More funding on the way for sexual assault treatment units

More funding on the way for sexual assault treatment units
Health Minister Simon Harris

Almost 1,000 people visited sexual assault treatment units last year.

The number of forensic nurse examiners will double and they will now be able to travel to patients if necessary.

A new domestic violence refuge for women is also set to open in south Dublin later this year.

It will have five family units and be able to accommodate five adults and up to 15 children looking to leave the family home.

A newly upgraded Rathmines Women's Refuge will also be reopened this year, providing for nine families.

Last year, Donegal woman Dominique Meehan shared details of having to wait five hours and travel from Dublin to Mullingar to access a treatment unit after she was raped in 2015.

Health Minister Simon Harris says the funding will mean victims won't have to go through what she did.

"After being violated and abused and having experience sexual violence, (the) sense of being further abused by having to travel, by not being able to wash, by not being able to change your clothes really added to what is already a traumatic situation," he said.

File photo
File photo

Earlier: Additional funding is expected to be announced for the country's sexual assault treatment units later.

Investment and staffing levels are expected to increase in response to a growing demand for services.

An extra €500,000 could be provided by Health Minister Simon Harris, according to the Irish Times.

The sexual assault treatment units currently in operation are in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Mullingar, Letterkenny and Waterford.

A policy review will be published later today.

Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner today reported that eight sexual health charities and groups in Cork have joined forces to launch a one-stop-shop website to provide information and advice across a wide range of sexual health areas.

Among the groups involved are the Sexual Violence Centre Cork and the city’s Sexual Assault Treatment Unit.

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