Party-goers warned over sex attacks

Revellers were today warned to be extra vigilant of sexual predators over the festive period.

Revellers were today warned to be extra vigilant of sexual predators over the festive period.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) said women and men should look out for themselves and each other while out celebrating with friends in the coming weeks.

Volunteers from the organisation accompanied 49 people to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) over the Christmas and New Year period last year.

“These numbers were so worrying that the centre worked on a prevention strategy throughout 2007,” said Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive.

“As part of the strategy the DRCC launched an Awareness Raising Campaign.

“The message is to encourage people to come forward to avail of the support that is available through the DRCC National 24-hour Helpline.”

Men and women can prevent the risk of being raped or sexually assaulted by staying safe, she said.

Tips include nominating a designated minder for your group of friends, keeping your drink in your hand at all times, not accepting a drink from someone you have just met, never travel alone, share taxis, and make sure your mobile is charged at all times.

“The Staying Safe Tips which have also been developed and will hopefully go some way to protect and keep people safe from the perpetrators of these crimes,” added Ms O’Malley-Dunlop.

“In the sad event of a crime happening, a person will know how to access the help that is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.”

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