This may not be the moment to consider another dispiriting graph, particularly one that records a growth in sex crimes and assaults, but figures published by the Central Statistics Office yesterday make that unavoidable.
There was a 4% rise in reported sexual offences last year, bringing the increase to 45% over five years.
This is a startling figure and should it continue it will mean a doubling of sex crimes in the decade to 2025.
How can this be as our culture becomes less and less tolerant of sexual predations?
Even if it is possible that this increase came about because those attacked are more likely to report attacks than heretofore figures point to an increasingly unsatisfactory situation — especially as we may have imagined, subliminally at least, that the graph was going in the very opposite direction.
So much for #MeToo assertiveness.
The metric recording assaults tells an even darker story.
There was an 8% increase last year, a jump that means a 29% increase in such attacks in the last five years.
There has, however, been a fall in the number of murders and manslaughter cases — despite a huge increase in attempted murders and threats of murders. Weapons and drug offences are up too.
The figures, as the pandemic underlines, show we must rebuild capacity in the services that confront these challenges though the expected economic difficulties may delay that vital social project.