Rape Crisis Network reports more helpline calls despite major cut in funds

Rape Crisis Network reports more helpline calls despite major cut in funds

The Rape Crisis Network took more than 13,000 calls to its helpline last year, despite a 70% cut in its funding.

The RCNI says the withdrawal in funding by the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, took effect last year.

Executive Director of RCNI, Clíona Saidléar, said: "RCNI has received no funding from the Child and Family Agency Tusla for two years. Last year, a cumulative 70 per cent cut to our funding took effect and our core funding from Tusla was completely withdrawn.

"Because of this, we were unable to continue to provide the support we used to to the sector in relation to policy and guidance. We have worked hard to prioritse and support key policy areas but there is a gap opening up which needs to be urgently addressed.

"RCNI made the decision to continue operating our globally innovative and best practice data collection system without the support of Tusla, as there is no other mechanism possible to give voice to these survivors who are otherwise silenced."

The network also says more survivors reported satisfaction with the Gardaí last year than in 2014.

However, 65% of survivors had not reported their rape to Gardaí before contacting the rape crisis network.

Ms Saidléar said: "On all three indicators: sensitivity; contact levels; and information, more survivors were satisfied with their experience with the Gardaí than in 2014.

"The report shows that 69% of survivors who filed a complaint with the Gardaí felt that they were treated in a sensitive manner, that their complaint was taken seriously and the Gardaí were attentive, sympathetic and supportive. This is a six-point increase from the previous year."

    Key findings from the RCNI Rape Crisis Statistics and Annual Report 2015

  • 13,208 Helpline contacts: 76% were voice calls, ranging from 1 minute to up to 1.5 hours.
  • 15,192 appointments in Rape Crisis Centres for counselling and support (1,384 people).
  • 180 people were accompanied by Rape Crisis Centres to a range of services including Sexual Assault Treatment Units, Gardaí and other medical facilities: total of 756 hours’ accompaniment.
  • 31% of all calls were for information from public and professionals seeking expert advice.
  • The majority of survivors were female (88%) and aged between 20 and 49 (83%).
  • The vast majority of perpetrators of sexual violence were male (96%), and known to the victims (85%). Almost half of perpetrators were aged between 20 and 39, with 15% of child sexual violence perpetrators under 18.
  • 67% of survivors were subjected to other forms of violence (physical, emotional, psychological) in addition to sexual violence.
  • 24% of survivors who became pregnant following rape accessed abortion.
  • 19% of adults and only 1% of child survivors experienced stranger rape.
  • 17% experienced multiple incidents of sexual violence.
  • One in ten were subjected to sexual violence in both their childhood and adulthood.


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