Over Half Rape Victims Abused By Many

Figures released today show almost 69% of those sexually abused solely as children were abused by more than one perpetrator.

The statistic is part of new figures revealed by Rape Crisis Network Ireland’s latest report, RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics 2009, launched today.

The report found that for children, 50% of perpetrators were family members while abuse by strangers is almost unknown at only 3%. For more than 70% of those abused as children, the abuse continued over a period of years.

Fiona Neary, RCNI Director said: "Hundreds and hundreds of women, men and teenagers continue to contact Rape Crisis Centres every year in Ireland. Most are seeking help for abuse that happened in their childhood, by someone in their family, and that abuse is still affecting their daily lives.

"For another one-third of survivors they have been raped as an adult. Rape and child sexual abuse remain common and endemic in Ireland.

"The data showed that sometimes child abusers acted together, while other times a child is abused at different times during their childhood by more than one person and the abusers may know nothing of each other.

"The family home is also the site of sexual violence for many adult women – we can see from our data that almost one third of the sexual violence against adult women was by a current or ex-partner," the report said.

Also according to the report, some 17% of the people taking up the services of the Rape Crisis Centre in 2009 had told no one else about their experience of sexual violence meaning that they had no support in their daily lives.

Despite the problem of under reporting of offences, Caroline Counihan, RCNI Legal Director said the number of survivors who using the centre who are reporting to the Gardaí has risen significantly.

"An encouraging 38% of survivors of solely adult sexual violence reported to the Gardaí. The number was lower for those who had experienced sexual violence solely as children, with 22% of them reporting."

MS Counihan added that the centre were aware it is easier to report a stranger than to report a family member – even though the vast majority of rape and sexual abuse is by someone known and most likely trusted by the victim.


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