Press Release: DRCC urges Politicians to improve Victims of Crime Legislation

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre urges Politicians to improve Victims of Crime Legislation. 

Dublin 16 May 2017

In advance of a meeting of the Oireachtas Select Committee on Justice and Equality which will take place tomorrow Wednesday 17 May 2017, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre called on politicians debating the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill 2016 to ensure that victims are recognised as having rights in the justice system, even if they have not made a formal complaint.

The Centre’s CEO Noeline Blackwell said “It can be particularly difficult for a victim of sexual violence to be well enough and able to make a complaint quickly. Sometimes, she or he may never be able to do so. Nonetheless, such a person is a true victim of crime and should be recognised as such by the State”. She said that the Centre was particularly emphasising the need for victims of crime to be referred to appropriate and specialist services, rather than, Ms. Blackwell said, making the referral “a tick box exercise”.

The Centre also urges the Committee to include provision for restorative justice, where victims and perpetrators can meet each other in a controlled environment. Ms. Blackwell said “The vast majority of victims of sexual violence know the person who carried out the assault or rape. Many are their relations. The evidence now shows that restorative justice gives closure in cases where – for example – a court case is never likely to take place”

/Ends

Noeline Blackwell, CEO, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a non-governmental organisation offering a wide range of services to women and men who are affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. The services include a national 24-hour helpline, one to one counselling, court accompaniment, outreach services, training, awareness raising and lobbying. Its office is at 70 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

The National 24-hour helpline number is 1800 77 88 88

The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill 2016 is for debate by the Select Committee on Justice and Equality of the Oireachtas on the morning of Wednesday 17 May 2017.

The full submission of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre can be accessed at www.drcc.ie

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