Press Release – Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Annual Report 2011 & National Awareness Raising Campaign

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

 Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Annual Report and Statistics 2011 and the 2012 National Awareness RaisinCampaign by Minister Róisín Shortall

There was an increase of 18% in first time callers to the National 24 hour Helpline operated by DRCC in 2011

Today, 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. 

This year’s Awareness Raising Campaign is a simple message to victims of sexual violence that they are not alone, and that talking can help the feelings fade. The use of a UV-reactive ink in the printing of the posters, gave us the opportunity to not only express this with words, but to demonstrate it physically too. 

It is crucial that victims can be confident that professional help is available to them at a time of deep personal trauma. This is not a time to cut funding to Rape Crisis Centres.”

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 2011 Statistics:

11,839 contacts were handled by the DRCC’s National 24-hour Helpline in 2011

9,085 were genuine counselling calls, when hoax, hang-up, silent and obscene calls are exclude 

81% of callers were female and 19% of callers were male. This compared to 17% male callers in 2010. 0.4% identified as transsexual/transgender (N=36).

3,988 calls were from first time callers, an increase of 18% compared with 3,282 first-time calls in 2010 

4,371 repeat contacts were received

44% of calls related to adult rape, compared with 42% in 2010

52% of calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and trafficking  

48% of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abus 

271 victims of rape and sexual assault were accompanied by DRCC’s trained volunteers to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital

A significant number of non-Irish nationals accessed the Helpline in 2011. While 96% of callers were of Irish nationality, 4% of calls were from non-Irish nationals. Callers were from 42 different nationalities

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.”

Counselling and Psychotherapy Services 

Client profile

537 clients were seen for crisis counselling and psychotherapy. Of these 12 % were male and 88% were female

81% of clients resided in the greater Dublin area, while 19% resided in 17 other counties

88% of clients were of Irish nationality, while 12% were from 32 other nationalities. Interpreting services were provided by DRCC for non-English speaking clients 

56% of clients were dealing with childhood sexual abuse (CSA)

44 % of clients attended for counselling in relation to adult rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment

Of 734 incidents of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse disclosed by clients in 2011, 29% of incidents included other types of violence along with the main type of abuse.  Physical violence, psychological abuse, harassment/intimidation and threats to kill accounted for 89% of the additional violence reported by clients who had experienced adult rape/sexual assault. 95% of the additional violence was experienced by victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Service delivery

DRCC’s therapists offered 4,910 individual appointments sessions in Leeson Street and four Outreach services in 2011 

3,818 individual appointments were delivered, a take-up rate of 78%

Angela McCarthy, Director of Clinical Services at DRCC said:

“The DRCC has shown its ongoing commitment to outreaching to local communities, through its outreach services in Coolock, the Dochas Women’s Prison and Tallaght. While 81% of clients were from Dublin city and county, almost a fifth, 19%, were from 17 other counties. The outreach counselling services were availed of by people from adjoining counties such as Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Louth, and Westmeath

In 2011, 102 sessions were completed in Dochas Women’s Prison

In Coolock, 507 sessions were offered, of which 409 were completed

Combined statistics for the two Tallaght outreach services show that 322 appointments were offered in 2011 of which 233 were completed”

 Reporting to the Gardai

Statistics provided in this section relate to 304 clients who commenced therapy in the DRCC in 2011, where the reporting status was known. It is worth noting that reporting and convictions in this context refer to clients seen by DRCC service in the year 2011, although the reports and convictions have occurred in previous years.

 Of the 304 cases where the reporting status was known, 91 cases were reported to the Gardai, a reporting rate of 30%

69% of the total cases reported related to rape and sexual assault

31 % of the total cases reported related to childhood sexual abuse

Of the 91 cases reported to the Gardai, 7 cases were tried, resulting in 4 convictions or guilty pleas, an1 acquittal. There were 2 cases where the outcome was unknown.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop concluded:One of the most disturbing stories from this Annual Report is the documented evidence of the high levels of additional types of violence experienced by both adult victims of rape and victims of childhood sexual abuse. These include physical violence, intimidation, psychological abuse and threats to kill. The documented evidence also confirms the daily harrowing experiences of staff and volunteers on the helpline, in the sexual assault treatment unit and in the therapy rooms.

The continued support of these services will demonstrate this Government’s genuine commitment to implementing its promise to deliver on the recommendations of the Ryan Report. We welcome the commitment of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, to the setting up of the Child and Family Support Agency (CFSA), which will come into being in 2013 with its emphasis on prevention and early intervention. We look forward to working with her Department and with the CFSA and its Chief Execuutive Designate, Gordon Jeyes, to ensure that the atrocities committed in the past will not be visited upon the future children of Ireland. We look forward to supporting the promised referendum on including the rights of the child in our constitution, in the autumn.”

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO 01 661 4911/086 809 9618 

 

 

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