Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Anniversary Report 2005 and Annual Statistics

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Shocking Increase in DRCC Figures

28% increase in SATU Accompaniment
11% increase in Genuine Counselling Calls
9% increase in calls relating to Childhood Sexual Abuse

Today, Brendan Spring, Chairman, of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, introduced its Anniversary Report 2005 and Annual Statistics and said “2005 represented a milestone for the DRCC as we pause to look back on our first 25 years in existence”.
Contacts with the 24-hour Crisis Helpline

The statistics showed that:

  • The 24-hour Helpline dealt with 16,331 calls, almost 2,000 more than in 2004. This is the highest figure ever recorded in the Centre.
  • Of these, 12,244 were genuine counselling calls, an increase of 11% on 2004.
  • While 76% of callers were from the Dublin area, 24% were from areas outside of Dublin, compared to 10% in 2004 and 14% in 2003.
  • 3,849 of these calls were from first time callers, up 11% on 2004.
  • 54% of these calls related to adult rape and sexual assault.
  • 46% of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, an increase of 9% on 2004.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of the DRCC said “The 9% increase in calls relating to childhood sexual abuse is highly significant. In October and November 2005, following the release of the Ferns Report, we experienced a dramatic increase in calls to our Helpline. These calls came not only from the Dublin area but from all over the country. It was a time of great sadness for all our callers, as media coverage of the Report triggered old memories. Our staff and volunteers were deeply touched by the callers, many of whom were elderly, who availed of the 24-hour crisis helpline for support at that time”.

Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

  • DRCC’s therapists delivered 3529 individual client sessions in 2005.
  • An additional 898 hours of group therapy were completed.
  • 601 clients were seen for crisis counselling and Psychotherapy, 90% female and 10% males.
  • 60% of clients were dealing with issues of rape and sexual assault, while 40% sought help for childhood sexual abuse.
  • The percentage of all cases reported to the Gardaí was 28%. 1 in 4 victims of child sexual abuse reported to the Gardai, while 1 in 3 victims of rape/sexual assault reported.
  • In 96.6% of cases of childhood sexual abuse, the perpetrator was a relative or other known person.
  • In 65% of rape cases, the assailant was known to the victim.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop said “When we see the stark reality of the statistics, and realise that 65% of rape and sexual assaults on adults were crimes committed by known persons to the victim, it gives us some insight into the low reporting rates of these serious crimes. It is far more difficult for victims to report where a family member or a known person is the assailant. The shame and the confusion that prevails often prevents the victim coming forward to seek justice. According to our 2005 statistics, clients were five times more likely to report rape or sexual assault if the assailant was a stranger rather than a person known to them.”

SATU Accompaniment Services

  • DRCC’s trained volunteers accompanied 263 victims to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital, an increase of 58 more victims compared to 2004.

Angela McCarthy, Head of Clinical Services at the DRCC said: “This is a shocking increase of 28% on our 2004 figures. We are deeply concerned by the rising levels of rape and sexual assault in our society, and by the horrific levels of sexual and physical violence reported both by our SATU volunteers and by our experienced helpline counsellors. Despite trojan work by the SATU staff in the Rotunda Hospital, the service was clearly overstretched in 2005. We call on the Department of Justice and the HSE to implement the recommendations of the Report on SATU services nationwide, (2006), as the current service provision is failing to meet the needs of victims of sexual violence.”
New Initiatives in the Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

There have been three new initiatives undertaken by the DRCC in 2005:

  • A counselling service in the Dóchas Centre, the National Women’s Prison, in Mountjoy.
  • The expansion of the Coolock Outreach Service which now has two therapists working two days a week.
  • A Men’s Group co-facilitated by a male and female therapist.

Angela McCarthy said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Prison Service and local communities with our new initiatives. These services have been developed in line with the recommendations of the SAVI Report and in response to local community needs.

The setting up of a men’s group, co-facilitated by a male and female therapist has been one of the success stories of our service in 2005. It reflects the DRCC’s commitment to creating a safe space in which our male clients can share their experiences with their peers.”

In conclusion, Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop said “We must be prepared now, to not only review, examine and make recommendations for the necessary changes to our legal system and SATU Unit system, but we must be prepared to implement these changes. We must work towards educating our society about the violence that underpins these crimes as was demonstrated in the SAVI Report (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland). We still have a long way to go in eradicating these crimes that continue to infiltrate every section of our society.”

Download the report here:

Anniversary Report 2005 and Annual Statistics

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