Currently there are three dedicated Sexual Assault Treatment Units in Ireland, located in Dublin, Cork and Letterkenny. There are limited facilities available in Tralee. The speed at which a rape victim will be seen for forensic examination is entirely dependant upon her proximity to these locations. This is completely unacceptable to the RCNI.
The recently published SAVI (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland) report shows that only 9% of survivors of sexual violence are prepared to come forward and report it to the Gardaí. When women are forced to wait hours for forensic examinations is this really surprising?
The RCNI calls upon the Ministers for Health and Justice to jointly fund Sexual Assault Treatment Units in every Health Board region in the country, units that are staffed by specialist professionals who are capable of dealing with victims of rape in a sensitive manner, who are trained in preparing court reports and at presenting evidence.
Rape victims deserve the best professional services available and, if these services are lacking, then it is up to us all to campaign for their establishment.