For many years the Rape Crisis Network Ireland has provided sterling service to survivors of sexual violence, offering support, counselling and advice to thousands.
Its 14 rape crisis centres also deal with up to 20,000 calls, texts and emails every year.
On top of that it has, since 2005, produced annual national statistics, a very important measure of the scale of sexual violence in Ireland and a vital tool in providing frontline services to victims.
However, the removal of funding by Tusla, the child and family agency, means it can no longer afford to verify and publish these statistics.
That, along with the decision by the Government to scrap a nationwide full study of sex crimes — the first since 2002 — is likely to cripple our ability to track the success of national initiatives to combat offences of this nature.
If that happens, it will show a disregard bordering on contempt for victims of sexual violence in Ireland and shame us in the eyes of the world.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved