18% Increase In Callers To Rape Helpline

An increase of 18% in first time callers to the National 24 hour Helpline operated by Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) in 2011 has been recorded.

Dr. Frances Gardiner, Chairperson of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) introduced its Annual Report and Annual Statistics 2011 and said: "The statistics in DRCC's Annual Report 2011 are indeed shocking. It is a testament to the excellent work of the staff of the Centre that so many victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse are confident of availing of the DRCC services. These include the National 24 hour Helpline, accompaniment to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit and the courts, legal information and face to face counselling and therapy.

"The launch of the National Awareness Raising Campaign, which is now in its fourth year, will no doubt contribute to further calls on the services of Rape Crisis Centres around the country. The Campaign is slowly but surely helping to change the long shelf life of attitudes to rape and sexual abuse in Ireland. Changing attitudes will change behaviour. We urgently need to change the behaviour in our society, which still tolerates rape and sexual abuse with impunity."

Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, CEO of DRCC said: "We can see from the numbers of victims of rape and sexual abuse seeking the services of the DRCC in 2011 that we must ensure the continuation of the work of the DRCC.

"There has been an increase of 20% in clients seeking therapy for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) since 2003. An analysis of our statistics shows a steady increase year on year since 2003. We believe that a number of factors have contributed to this increase:

"One is the impact of the publication of the many reports, including Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne.

"Another factor is the positive response from three National Awareness Raising Campaigns and the willingness of Government, through Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence, to support these campaigns.

"A third factor is the shift in public discourse, whereby these crimes are now acknowledged and discussed openly, without shame or blame."


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