Staying Safe this Christmas ‘09

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Last year over 2,531 people rang the National 24 hour National helpline for rape and sexual abuse, during December and January.

A 20% increase on the previous year.

58 people were accompanied to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin by the DRCC’s Volunteer Service Department for Rape and Sexual Abuse

Some Tips to keeping safe this Christmas:

  • Look out for each other and be part of a group
  • Do not get separated from your group
  • Keep your drink in your hand at all times
  • Do not accept a drink from someone you have just met
  • Trust your instinct, if you feel uncomfortable in a place or with someone, leave as soon as possible
  • Nominate a Designated Minder for each group of 6
  • Share Taxis
  • Make sure you mobile is charged at all times
  • If you have to travel alone make sure you have phoned ahead to where you are going and estimate the time of arrival

Steps to be taken if a bad incident occurs:

  • Contact your parents or Guardian
  • You may go to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit without reporting to the Gardai
  • If you wish report any incident to the Gardai
  • If you need the help of a Rape Crisis Centre, the National Free phone 24 hour Helpline number is 1800 77 8888

Some facts to keep in mind this Christmas:

  • There are no gray areas for the victims of rape
  • If a person has sex with another person without their consent it is a crime
  • Remember the age of consent is 17
  • A person, when they have been taken advantage of in this way, whether it is due to being asleep, excess alcohol, or any other situation whereby they were not able to give their consent freely, suffers the huge trauma of the effects of the violation of being raped
  • Under current Irish Law a person is guilty of raping another person if they ignore having this consent and if they are reckless in their decision to pursue sexual contact without a person’s consent
  • While we need to have a more explicit definition of what constitutes consent in Ireland, the law is still very clear on recklessness in this regard

The National 24 hour helpline for the victims of rape and sexual abuse is: 1 800 77 8888

Keep this number keyed into your mobile but hopefully you won’t have to use it.

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

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