Rape crisis centre issues tips to reduce risk of assault

A RAPE crisis charity has issued a set of tips which they hope can help prevent the upsurge of sexual assaults linked to better weather and outdoor events.

Over the past number of summers the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) has seen an increase in the incidents of men and women being raped or sexually assaulted while celebrating bank holiday weekends, good weather or attending outdoor summer events.

DRCC chief executive Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop said: “The DRCC has devised a list of common-sense tips that have been created in consultation with men and women young and old. While these tips may seem simple they are extremely useful and from feedback we have received, these tips have helped a lot of people to date to stay safe.”

The organisation has listed 10 tips to help prevent possible assaults. These are:

- Look out for each other.

- Do not get separated from your group.

- Keep your drink in your hand at all times.

- Do not accept a drink from someone you have just met.

- Ask a friend to mind your drink if you have to leave.

- Stay in popular places and do not go to remote places.

- Nominate a designated minder for each group of six (in the same way as designated drivers are used).

- Share taxies and lifts.

- If you have to travel alone phone ahead to where you are going and estimate the time of arrival.

- Make sure your mobile is charged at all times.

The following are four steps to take if a rape or sexual assault does occur:

- Key the National 24- hour Helpline for rape and sexual abuse – 1 800 77 88 88 into your mobile phone.

- Have your mobile phone charged at all times.

- Report the crime to gardaí.

- Seek medical help.

Ms O’Malley-Dunlop said: “We are also issuing a warning to potential perpetrators that having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent constitutes rape. It is a violation of a person’s human rights to take advantage of another person when they are in a vulnerable situation.

“We urge that these crimes are reported so that the perpetrators can be appropriately punished.”

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