A national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland will be carried out every ten years after an agreement was signed between the Department of Justice and Equality and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today.
The Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CSO today after a decision was reached last November that a major survey should be carried out into the experience of women and men of sexual violence.
The survey will aim to ensure that policy is better informed by recent and robust information.
There had been repeated calls for a study to be carried out similar to the SAVI study which was published in 2002.
Work is now beginning in the CSO to prepare for the survey, and it is estimated that it will require significant work by the office between this year and 2023.
Organisations working within the sexual violence sector are expected to be involved with the study, and there will also be interest from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Health.
Funding of €150,000 has been allocated to the CSO for research to be carried out in 2019 as to how the study can be smoothly implemented.
The government has also agreed that, once budgets have been produced by the CSO, "any necessary resources will be made available to ensure the survey takes place".
The MoU was signed today by Aidan O’Driscoll, Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality, and Pádraig Dalton, Director General of the CSO.
Commenting on the announcement, the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said: “I am very pleased to see this national survey integrated in the work programme of the Central Statistics Office.
"I am confident that the CSO will bring to this very large, complex and particularly sensitive survey the same rigorous ethical and professional standards applied in all the work of the Office.
My priority in relation to this survey is not just getting it done. Because we are dealing with the lives and experiences of real people, my priority has to be getting it done right.
"To ensure that it is done right first time, resources and time are needed. And I am providing for both.
"The CSO with its expertise, integrity and independence are, without doubt, our best option for undertaking this work both now and into the future and my Department looks forward to our ongoing engagement with the CSO throughout the lifetime of this project," he said.