Press Release: Annual Report 2013 Launch – Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Annual Report 

and Statistics 2013 

      BY

Dr. James Reilly, TD

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

  • 12,192 contacts were answered by the DRCC’s National 24-Hour Helpline, the highest figure since 2009.
  • 9,614 were genuine counselling contacts, an increase of 5% compared with 2012 figures.
  • 43% of calls related to adult rape, an increase of 3% compared with 2012 figures.
  • 231 victims of recent rape and sexual assault were accompanied by trained DRCC Volunteers  at the Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in 2013
  • Despite the effect of cutbacks on staffing levels, all clinical services have been prioritized by the Centre and outreach services maintained.

            Today, Dr. Frances Gardiner, Chairperson of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) introduced its Annual Report and Statistics 2013 and said:

“The Annual Report of the DRCC once again demonstrates how the organisation  continued to fulfil its  mandate of responding to the needs of victims of sexual violence, despite the challenge of further shrinking resources in 2013.  Management and staff inevitably struggled amidst burgeoning workloads to meet the demands of an expanding diverse client base. Analysis of the figures confirms how unrelenting the sinister world of sexual crime is, traumatising men and women in its wake.  The statistics in DRCC’s Annual Report 2013 are indeed shocking. It is crucial that victims can be confident that DRCC’s 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 2013 Statistics:

  • 12,192 contacts were handled by the DRCC’s National 24-Hour Helpline.
  • 9,614 were genuine counselling contacts.
  • 3,928 calls were first time contacts, representing 41% of total genuine contacts.
  • 4,955 repeat contacts were received, an increase of 7% on 2012.
  • 78% of callers were female and 22% of callers were male.
  • 43% of calls related to adult rape, an increase of 3% compared with 2012 figures.
  • 9% of calls related to adult sexual assault, an increase of 21% compared with 2012 figures.
  • 53% of calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and trafficking.
  • 47% of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse.
  • 72% of callers were from the Dublin areas, while 28% were from 12 other counties.
  • 96% of callers were of Irish nationality, 4% of calls were of other nationalities.
  • 231 victims of rape and sexual assault were accompanied by DRCC’ s trained volunteers to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital

Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, CEO of DRCC said “The National 24 Hour Helpline 1 800 77 88 88 continues to be a tremendous resource for victims of adult sexual violence and adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. In 2009 the calls to the Helpline reached an all time high due to the publication of the Ryan and Murphy Reports. In 2013 there were no such damning publications but the Helpline staff and trained volunteers processed the highest number of calls to the Helpline since 2009. There were 3,928 first time callers and the number of repeat contacts in 2013 at 4,955, was the highest in nine years.

Unfortunately, the last year has seen a disturbing increase in sexual violence. There was an increase of 672 calls from men and women in 2013 which related to adult sexual assault. This was a shocking increase of 21%, compared with 2012. 

As the testimonies of so many clients reveal in this Annual report, the Helpline is often their first point of contact where they find support and information, empathy and a safe space to speak. Victims of this most heinous crime need all the supports that are on offer at the DRCC including counselling, court and Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) accompaniment and advocacy.

It is very worrying to know how we are going to sustain these essential services when the grant from Government has been substantially cut on an annual basis since 2008. In 2013 the grant was further cut in the middle of the year which meant that we had to go back and revise the already depleted budget. As a consequence of the cuts, management and staff have been on frozen salaries since 2008 plus salary cuts ranging from 5%-20%. It is not fair, ethical nor does it make economic sense to cut services to some of the most vulnerable in our society and, unless the grant is maintained at a reasonable level, we will not be able to respond to the needs of the victims contacting us. To view cutting resources to RCCs is a false economy in the long term. A recent publication from the ESRI has demonstrated the long term economic cost of childhood sexual abuse to the economy.”

Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

Client profile

  • 512 clients were seen for individual counselling in 2013.
  • Of these, 284 or 56% were new clients in 2013
  • 10% of clients were male and 90% were female.
  • 82% were from the greater Dublin area, while 18% were from 12 other counties.
  • 86% of clients were Irish, while 14 % were of 34 other nationalities. Interpreting services were provided by DRCC for non-English speaking clients.
  • 52% of clients were victims of adult rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
  • 48% of clients were victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA)
  • 45% or 129 of total new clients in 2013 disclosed 163 incidents which included other forms of violence, in addition to the main abuse.
  • 27% of all incidents of adult rape or sexual assault included additional violence, predominantly physical abuse, psychological abuse and harassment/intimidation.
  •  In 21% of all incidents of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) additional types of violence were also disclosed, predominantly psychological abuse and physical abuse.

Service delivery

  • 4,160 individual appointments were made available by the therapy team in 2013.
  • Of these 3,211 individual appointments were delivered in 2013.
  • Of the 3,211 appointments delivered, 23% were crisis appointments for men and women who had experienced recent rape or sexual assault i.e. within the past six months. 77% were assessment appointments for past rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and CSA.
  • From April 2013, following agreed staff reductions, 9 therapists – rather than 11 as in previous years-offered crisis counselling and long-term therapy in DRCC in Leeson Street, and in three outreach counselling services,  Coolock Civic Centre, Tallaght Hospital and the Dochas Centre for female offenders. A sixth of all appointments were delivered in outreach services.

            Angela McCarthy, Head of Clinical Services at DRCC said: “This has been a tough year in terms of delivering crisis counselling and long-term therapy, because of a reduction of 18% in therapists staffing levels in the first quarter of 2013. However, all staff were committed to the implemented re-structuring process, in order to minimise the impact on clients.  I want to pay tribute to all our staff and in particular to the commitment and dedication of all the clinical staff involved in implementing various efficiencies to ensure that the counselling services were prioritised.

Unfortunately, the last year has seen a disturbing increase in sexual violence. A total of 231 victims of recent rape or sexual assault were accompanied by our trained volunteers in the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit  in 2013.

284 new clients availed of our counselling services in 2013, 194 of whom were attending in relation to adult sexual violence and  90 in relation to childhood sexual abuse.                                           

48% of the sexual abuse incidents disclosed by the 284 new face to face counselling clients in 2013 included additional forms of violence, such as physical and psychological abuse, intimidation and threats to kill. As the feedback and testimony of so many clients attest, the availability of individual crisis counselling and therapy are vital to help them on their journey of recovery. Reinstatement of government funding would help us to deliver our services to the level required and to ensure appropriate services are available to victims of rape and sexual abuse in the future.”

Reporting to the Gardai

Statistics provided in this section relate to 284 clients who commenced therapy in the DRCC in 2013, 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 2013, although the reports and convictions may have occurred in previous years.

  • Of the 284 cases where the reporting status was known, 106 cases were reported to the Gardai, a reporting rate of 37%.
  • 81% of the 106 cases reported related to rape and sexual assault.
  • 19% of the 106 cases reported related to childhood sexual abuse.
  • Of the 106 cases reported to the Gardai, outcome information was known

for 38 cases (36%). Charges were dropped (by client or DPP) in 16 cases, 17 were pending charges and 5 went to trial.

  • The outcome of the 5 cases which went to trial was 4 convictions or guilty pleas and 1 acquittal

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop concluded:We are at a critical turning point in relation to awareness and changes in what were very stereotypical entrenched attitudes towards rape and sexual abuse. We welcome the promise of the proposed Sexual Offences Bill which we hope will include a definition of Consent, Increased penalties for trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, Grooming, Penalties for those purchasing sex, Protocols for Disclosure of Counselling and Psychotherapy notes, to name but a few of the many changes that are needed to ensure that the perpetrators of this most heinous crime are caught and appropriately punished.

While we still have some way to go in challenging these old myths, especially those that blame the victim, having laws in place that support justice for victims while at the same time respecting an accused person’s right to a fair trial, will go a long way to curbing sexual crimes in our society. Victims will be more inclined not to drop out of the criminal justice system and we will see more cases going to trial.

Instead of cutting back on grants to RCC services we now need Government’s commitment to continue to invest in these services, to support the victims to recover so that they are able to get on with their lives. We need to invest in Education, in early intervention and prevention strategies to ensure that these crimes become the exception in our society. And last but not least we need to ensure that the research is delivered which will properly inform us as to the extent of the problem and evaluate and recommend how best to respond, so that our society becomes a safer place for everyone.”

ENDS

 

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