Press Release: Staying Safe this Christmas

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Staying Safe This Christmas

Staying Safe this Christmas 

There were 2,113 calls to 1 800 77 88 88, the National 24 hour Helpline for Rape and Sexual Abuse over the Christmas period last year 

Last year there were 2,113 calls to the National 24 hour helpline for rape and sexual abuse, during December and January.  During the same period 50 victims of recent rape and sexual assault were accompanied by trained volunteers to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said: “The increase in the numbers of victims, your sisters, your brothers, your daughters, your sons, your wives and your husbands, who were victims over the holiday period last year of sexual violence, is a very worrying trend in our society.

We must do everything in our power to try and stem the rise in the numbers of these heinous crimes being committed in our society with impunity. Unreported because victims more often than not feel too ashamed, particularly if they were under the influence of alcohol and they will expect not to be believed. However the perpetrators who may also have been under the influence of alcohol will not feel any shame even though they behaved recklessly and did not get consent to sexual intercourse.

This year as well as targeting potential victims and reiterating our staying safe tips for the holiday period, we are also targeting the potential perpetrator. DON’T BE THAT GUY is a campaign which DRCC has supported with the students of Trinity College and the Union of Students of Ireland and we are repeating the message of the campaign as well as the STAYING SAFE TIPS. We would hope that in doing so that people will be able to have a happy and safe Christmas and be able to let their hair down but not their guard.”

Don’t be that guy who doesn’t make sure his partner is consenting

Don’t be that guy who sexually assaults a man or a woman too drunk to consent to sex

Don’t be that guy who uses alcohol as a tool to sexually assault someone

Don’t be that guy who believes it’s not rape

Don’t be that guy who doesn’t take responsibility

 

Tips to keeping safe this Christmas

Always look out for each other and be part of a group

  • Stay with your group of friends and try not to 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 even if he/she is a friend of a friend
  • Ask someone you know and trust, to mind your drink if you have to leave it down for any reason
  • Trust your instincts; 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 with friends
  • Make sure your mobile is charged at all times and keep the  helpline free phone number

1800 77 88 88 stored in it

  • If you have to travel alone, make sure you phone ahead to where you are going and give your estimated time of arrival. Make sure your driver hears you phoning ahead
  • Remember 8 out of 10 victims are raped by someone known to them

Steps to be taken in the event of a rape or sexual assault:

  • Call the  National  24 hour Helpline if you need the help of a Rape Crisis Centre for a recent rape or childhood sexual abuse,
  • If you are a family member or a friend and don’t know what to do when someone close to you has disclosed that they have been raped or sexually assaulted call this number and you will get the help you need
    • Contact your parents or Guardian or a friend
    • You may choose to report the incident to the Gardai
    • Get the medical support you need

Some facts to keep in mind this Christmas and New Year Period

  • The legal age of consent for having sex is 17
  • Under current Irish Law a person is guilty of raping another person, if they are reckless in their decision to pursue sexual contact without that person’s consent
  • If a person has sex with another person without their consent it is a crime
  • A person may not give  their consent freely if they are asleep, are unconscious or severely impaired due to alcohol, are mentally impaired , are under 17 or have been coerced in any other way that is deemed to be reckless
  • When a person is taken advantage of in any of these circumstances whereby they have not given their consent freely, they suffer the huge trauma of the effects of being raped

Our aim is to offer a safe and confidential space where women and men of all ages can be listened to and supported without shame or self-blame. We are delighted that the DRCC is now in a position to offer all its information via the new DublinRCC app which is available to download on both iPhone and android.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC          01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

 

 

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