Press Release: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

The DRCC welcomes the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, CEO said:  “We welcome the publication of the Second National Strategy on Domestic Sexual and Gender Based Violence and we are pleased to see a continuation of a commitment to a whole of Government response to the prevention of Domestic Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Ireland.

We were very disappointed though, that there was no provision in the strategy for longitudinal research, in particular for a Second SAVI (Sexual Abuse and Violence In Ireland) Report. However we note Minister Fitzgerald’s reference to this being ‘…a living document that will change evolve and grow year on year’ which gives us hope to continue to impress upon Government the importance and the need for robust longitudinal research to inform policies. The findings of SAVI were stark. The demands on Rape Crisis Centres and Sexual Assault Treatment Units have grown substantially over the past ten years. We need the comparative research to know why this is happening. Is our society more violent? Are victims confident that they will be believed when they report these heinous crimes? We need answers to these questions. We would also hope to see the inclusion to the living document, of strategies and policies pertaining to victims in the disability sector.

We welcome the commitment to setting up an Expert Group to work on developing appropriate data collection systems for domestic and sexual violence with the Central Statistics Office (CSO). We also welcome the reference to the EU Victims Directive and the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill in early 2016.

The Minister in her speech this morning stated that the bulk of the Strategy’s actions rightly involve providing services to victims and holding perpetrators to account.  One action in this area is for Tusla to undertake commissioning for two 24 Hour Helplines, one for domestic violence and one for sexual violence. Women’s Aid has recently extended its helpline to be a 24 Hour National Helpline for victims of Domestic Violence. The DRCC has operated a National 24 Hour Helpline for victims of sexual violence for nearly 40 years. We expect that Tusla will not be duplicating these professional services that are already in place and we look forward to their support in continuing to maintain and deliver the two 24 Hour Helplines.

We also welcome the commitment to fund sustained year on year national awareness raising campaigns using television, radio, internet and outdoor advertising.”

ENDS

DRCC National 24-Hour Helpline 1800 77 8888

 

 

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