Press Release: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

 

Launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Annual Report and Statistics 2014

                                                                                  by

 Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, TD

Minister for Justice and Equality

 9.30 a.m. June 17th 2015

 

  • There was an increase of 30% in first time callers to the National24-Hour Helpline, compared with 2013 figures
  • Calls relating to adult rape showed an increase of 14% compared with 2013 figures
  • There was an increase of 71% in crisis appointments for recent rape and sexual assault delivered by therapists in 2014, compared with 2013 figures
  • 215 victims of rape and sexual assault were accompanied by DRCC’s trained volunteers to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital

Ann Marie Gill, Chairperson of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre introduced its Annual Report and Statistics 2014 and said: “Once again we are reporting a busy and challenging year for DRCC, both in terms of our frontline services and in maintaining a strong campaigning voice in the public sphere. We welcome Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s commitment to transpose the EU Directive on Victims’ Rights into Irish Law by November this year. For far too long the Rights of the Victim in the Irish Criminal Justice System (CJS) were ignored. There is no doubt the current status of victims in the CJS has been a very big contributing factor to the high attrition rates in cases of rape and sexual violence. When Victims’ Rights are given appropriate recognition in our courts we look forward to seeing an increase in victims of rape and sexual crimes staying the course of the CJS and receiving justice. The perpetrators will no longer be afforded the latitude of committing these most heinous crimes with impunity and we will look forward to having a safer society for all.” 

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 2014 Statistics:

  • 12, 059 counselling contacts were handled by the DRCC’s National 24-Hour Helpline, including 11, 553 counselling calls, 269 emails and 237 text messages
  • 9, 207 of the total calls were genuine counselling contacts
  • 55% or 5,077of genuine calls were first time contacts, an increase of 30% in comparison with 2013 figures
  • 4,124 repeat contacts were received
  • 76% of callers were female and 24 % of callers were male. There has been a steady year on year increase in males using the Helpline since 2008 when the figure was 14%
  • 46% of calls related to adult rape. This represents an increase of 14% compared with 2013 figures
  • 56% of calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and trafficking. This was an increase of 10% compared with 2013 figures
  • 44 % of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse. There was an increase of 3% in the total number of CSA calls compared with 2013 figures
  • 69% of callers were from the Dublin area. 31 % were from 14 other counties, an increase of 3% compared with 2013
  • 95% of callers were of Irish nationality. 5% of calls were of 58 other nationalities, an increase of 1% compared with 2013
  • 215 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 DRCC has experienced a cut of over €300,000 to its statutory funding since 2009.  It is evident from the 2014 statistics that the frontline services of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre are crucial to the victims of recent rape, childhood sexual abuse  and other forms of sexual violence, who are availing of the services, to support their recovery from the trauma of these most heinous crimes perpetrated against them.

As a consequence of the cuts the DRCC has restructured its operations so that it can continue to offer the services that are so vital to victims of sexual violence in the most densely populated part of the country. However it is not possible to sustain these vital services without a commitment from Government to begin reinvesting in these frontline services now!”

Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

Client profile

  • 493 clients were seen for individual counselling in 2014
  • Of these, 59% were new clients in 2014 and 41% were ongoing
  • 12 % of clients were male and 88% were female
  • 82% of clients were from Dublin city and county, while 18 % were from 14 other counties
  • 85% of clients were Irish, while 15 % were of 36 other nationalities
  • 55% of clients attended counselling for adult rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment , an increase of 3% compared with 2013
  • 45 % of clients received therapy for childhood sexual abuse (CSA)
  • The 293 new clients who commenced therapy in 2014 collectively disclosed 318 incidents of sexual violence/abuse as adults or as children
  • 64% of these incidents included other forms of violence in addition to the main abuse. These comprised physical abuse, harassment or intimidation and psychological abuse, as well as threats and attempts to kill the victim

 

Service delivery

  • 4,323 individual appointments were made available by the therapy team in 2014, an increase of 4% compared with 2013 figures

 

  • Of these, 3,341 individual appointments were delivered in 2014, an increase of 4% compared with 2014 figures
  • Of the 3,341 appointments delivered, 38% were crisis appointments for men and women who had experienced recent rape or sexual assault i.e. within the past six months
  • This represents an increase of 71% in crisis appointments delivered in 2014, compared with 2013 figures
  • 62% were assessment appointments for past rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and CSA
  • 18% of all appointments were delivered in outreach services in Coolock, Tallaght and the Dochas Centre

Angela McCarthy, Director of Clinical Services at DRCC said: “This year’s statistics show a 30% increase in first time callers to the National 24-Hour Helpline and a dramatic increase in calls relating to rape. This translated into a very high demand for crisis appointments throughout the year. Both telephone counsellors and therapists rose to the challenge of providing Helpline support and face to face crisis counselling in a timely manner. The result was an amazing increase of 70% in crisis appointments delivered in 2014, compared with the previous year.

We have been negatively affected by cutbacks in staffing levels, particularly with the ongoing impact of a 20% reduction in the therapy department. Despite this, there was a 4% increase in the number of counselling appointments offered and delivered in 2014 due to the ongoing commitment of clinical staff. The outreach counselling services in Coolock and Tallaght, as well as in the Dochas Centre, have also been maintained, with 18% of clients seen in outreach counselling services in 2014. However, we have struggled with increased waiting lists and the pressure to appropriately meet the varied needs of clients presenting with issues of past childhood abuse, as well as more recent sexual violence.

Reporting to the Gardai

Statistics provided in this section relate to 293 clients who commenced therapy in the DRCC in 2014, 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 2014, although the reports and convictions may have occurred in previous years.

  • Of the 293 cases where the reporting status was known, 104 cases were reported to the Gardai, a reporting rate of 36%
  • 63% of the 104 cases reported related to rape and sexual assault
  • 37% of the 104 cases reported related to childhood sexual abuse
  • Of the 104 cases reported to the Gardai, outcome information was known for 26 cases (25%) of the 104 reported to the Gardai. Charges were pending in 15 cases, charges were dropped by client or DPP in 7 and 4 went to trial, resulting in 3 convictions/guilty pleas, with the outcome of one case unknown

 

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop concluded: “We’ve had nearly 40 years of the Rape Crisis movement in Ireland. It began in 1979 with offering a helpline, and has developed into a professional counselling service, and the DRCC now operates the National 24 Hour Helpline for victims of sexual violence, 365 days a year.  The DRCC’s trained volunteers are also available 365 days a year to accompany victims of recent rape and sexual assault to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

We are now at a critical turning point in relation to awareness and changes in what were very stereotypical entrenched attitudes towards rape and sexual abuse in Ireland. While a lot has been achieved, we now need to re-invest in Rape Crisis frontline services. Investment is also imperative in Education and Training Programmes, in early intervention and prevention strategies to ensure that these changes are given the opportunity to be bedded down in our collective Irish psyche.

We welcome Minister Fitzgerald’s commitment to delivering the Sexual Offences Bill to the Oireachtas in September and to transposing the EU Directive on Victims’ Rights into Irish Law by November this year.

However we need a commitment from Government that it will provide Tusla, The Child and Family Agency with the necessary funding to deliver its mandate. DRCC and all other RCC frontline services in the country receive their statutory funding from Tusla and, as unique and specialist services for victims of sexual violence, we cannot endure any further cuts.”

 

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO                             01 661 4911

 

 

 

< Back to Media