Unease At The Decrease In Reported Crimes Of Rape And Sexual Assault

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) is very alarmed at the figures released today by the Central Statistics Office showing a decrease in the incidence of the serious crimes of rape and sexual assault.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC said “These figures are so far removed from our experience on our Helpline and in accompanying victims to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit. Our statistics (to be published 15th May) will show significant increases in the numbers of people contacting our Helpline in relation to rape and sexual assault. The levels of physical violence attached to these crimes, has also escalated.

There is a multiciplicity of reasons why there is such a difference between our experience on the ground and the CSO figures. The CSO figures reflect reported crime and it is unsettling that these figures are down.

We believe there are many reasons why the victims of rape and sexual assault choose not to report to the Gardai now. We are familiar with some of the reasons i.e:

  • Delays between reporting and the case getting to court,
  • The fear of having to relive the traumas
  • The perpetrator in many cases being known to the victim

However in recent times there have been additional reasons for the reluctance to report:

  • High profile cases such as the Mary Shannon case have reflected public unease about the Criminal Justice System.
  • The striking down of the statutory rape law and the subsequent introduction of the flawed Sexual Offences Act 2006 has created a lack of confidence in justice being delivered”.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has long called on all parties to commit to reforming legislation and the criminal justice system to encourage victims to come forward and to report these serious crimes.

For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

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