Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Annual Report and Annual Statistics 2007

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Annual Report and Annual Statistics 2007
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

DRCC’s Report Confirms Increase in Sexual Violence

  • 320 Victims of rape and/or sexual assault accompanied to SATU (100% increase in the 6 year period 2001-7)
  • 8.9% clients raped or sexually assaulted by someone they did not know (13% increase in the two year period 2005-7)
  • 3,893 repeat calls to Helpline, an increase of 5.5%
  • 33% of clients reported physical violence, psychological abuse and intimidation in addition to the rape or sexual assault

Today, Brendan Spring, Chairman of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, introduced its Annual Report and Annual Statistics 2007 and said “Our statistics show that sexual crime is not diminishing. These statistics are not to be confused with statements from the Gardai and the Central Statistics Office. Fewer victims are reporting rape and sexual abuse to the Gardai, which distorts the real picture. This report shows the true story.”

Contacts with the 24-hour Crisis Helpline

The statistics showed that:

  • The 24-hour Helpline dealt with 13,582 calls (78 calls were received in 1979)
  • 10,155 of these calls were genuine counselling calls
  • 3,048 of these calls were from first time callers.
  • 3,893 were from repeat callers, an increase of 5.5% on 2006 calls
  • 77% of calls were from the Dublin and greater Dublin area, 23% were from areas outside Dublin
  • 83% of calls were from females and 17% from males (Male callers were up 1% from 2006) There has been an increase of 5% in male callers over the last 3 three years, from a low of 12% in 2004.
  • 52.7% of these calls related to adult rape and sexual assault.
  • 47.3% of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, up 5% on 2006 figures.
  • Calls relating to drug-assisted rape showed an increase from 1.45% in 2006 to 2.31% in 2007
  • 5.5% of callers were foreign-nationals, an increase of 2% compared to 2006. Callers’ countries of origin included England, 19 European countries, 5 African countries, Australia, New Zealand, U.S, Canada and China.
  • 472 callers (4.65%) reported experiencing other types of violence/abuse in addition to being raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused as children. Of this group of clients, two thirds had been raped or sexually assaulted as adults, while one third had experienced childhood sexual abuse.
  • Of the group that had been raped/sexually assaulted, 61% had experienced physical abuse, 6.94% had experienced psychological abuse, and 7.89% had experienced intimidation. Other forms of violence reported were harassment, threat to kill, attempt to kill, torture, weapon used, abduction and stalking. 15.46% had experienced multiple types of these abuses.

Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) Accompaniment Services

  • DRCC’s trained Volunteers accompanied 320 victims to the SATU in the Rotunda Hospital, an increase of 1.58% on figures for 2006.
  • In the 6 years since 2001, the figures for SATU accompaniment by DRCC volunteers have increased by 100% (there were 158 accompaniments in 2001)

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of the DRCC said “It is shocking to think that in Dublin alone 320 people were accompanied to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda in 2007. This means that there were 320 people either raped or sexually abused reported the crime to the Gardai. Unfortunately we also know that only 1 in and 10 report the crime (SAVI Report).

Over the past number of years we observed a growing trend in the levels of violence accompanying rapes and sexual assaults. In 2007 we documented the evidence which supports these observations. We now know that 33% of the clients seen at the centre also experienced additional violence, either physical, psychological, intimidation or a combination of all three.”

Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

Client profile

  • 592 clients were seen for crisis counselling and psychotherapy. Of these 11.% were men and 89.3% were women.
  • 43% were dealing with childhood sexual abuse
  • 57% were dealing with sexual violence in adulthood, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
  • Drug-assisted rape increased from 1.4% in 2006 to 2.58% in 2007, an increase of 1.2%.
  • 177 clients (32.54%) reported experiencing other types of violence along with adult rape or childhood sexual abuse. Of these clients, over a third of been abused as children and two thirds had experienced sexual violence as an adult.
  • Physical violence, psychological abuse and intimidation accounted for 72% of the additional violence/abuse reported by clients who had experienced adult rape/sexual assault and 86% of the additional violence/abuse experienced by victims of childhood sexual abuse.
  • There was an 8.9% increase in rape by strangers in 2007. In 2007, 48.26% of clients disclosed rape or sexually assault by a stranger, compared to 39.4% of clients in 2006.

Service delivery

  • DRCC’s therapists delivered 3,834 individual client sessions in 2007, an increase of 7% on 2006 figures.
  • 540 client group therapy hours were delivered.
  • The DRCC opened a new Outreach Counselling service in Tallaght Hospital in July 2007
  • 73 sessions were offered in the Dochas Centre (Medium Security Women’s Prison, Mountjoy).
  • 562 sessions were offered in Coolock Civic Centre

Reporting to the Gardai

Statistics provided in this section relate to 336 clients who commenced therapy in the DRCC in 2007, where the reporting status was known. It is worth noting that reporting and convictions in this context refer to clients seen by our service in the year 2007, although the reports and convictions have occurred in the previous years.

  • Of the 336 cases where the reporting status was known, 114 cases were reported to the Gardai. This represented a 33% reporting rate. 18% of the total CSA cases were reported, while 43% of the total rape/sexual assault cases were reported.
  • Outcome information was known for 61 of the 114 cases reported: 21% dropped, 15% went on trial, 64 pending.
  • 9 cases were tried, resulting in 7 convictions.

Education and Training Department

  • 93 days of training were delivered
  • 1,679 professionals and volunteers took part in training Programmes
  • 73 school students attended awareness raising programmes.
  • 2,392 participant days were provided

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop said; “The figures for 2007 for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre continue to reflect a frightful reality of our society that one of the most serious crimes on our statute books continues to be committed, continues to go unreported, and continues to be ignored. The result is that perpetrators do not fear the law, and victims fear that they will not get justice if they do report the crime.

There are many complex reasons why people don’t report this crime but there are some very obvious reasons why we have the lowest reporting rate in over 20 European countries. One of the obvious reasons is that a victim of this heinous crime is only a witness in the case, with no separate legal representation. This must change. The prosecution represents the state and the accused has a legal team. The victim has nobody.

Another obvious reason is that the rushed through 2006 Sexual Offences Act is inadequate. As well as legislative changes, we need a Referendum to amend the Constitution to reinstate strict liability in the case of rape, so that our young people are protected. The disturbing trends in our society reflected in this report have to be addressed and need to be prioritized by our politicians. This is an opportunity for them to show real leadership. We need action.”

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

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