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Dublin Rape Crisis Centre asks UN Committee to press government for speedier victim protection

 Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is asking the United Nations to look at Ireland’s slow progress in protecting victims of sexual violence when the Government attends a UN hearing in Geneva this week.

In its submission to the UN Committee Against Torture, the Centre, which provides therapeutic and accompaniment support for those who have suffered rape and sexual abuse, points to a slow roll out of Garda Protective Services Units specialising in investigating sexual crimes, the lack of special protection for victims in court and the absence of sufficient training for lawyers and law enforcement personnel. According to the Centre CEO, Noeline Blackwell, “The legal system should take special care of the victims of sexual violence. They are almost unique in the justice system because they have two roles: they are the victim of the crime, and the main person to give evidence in most cases”

The report is critical of the lack of reliable data about sexual offences in Ireland. Ms. Blackwell said: “If the data isn’t reliable and comprehensive, how can the State know that it’s taking the right actions to reduce and prevent sexual crime?” She called for an in depth study, similar to the national Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) report last done 15 years ago in 2002, as well as better co-ordination of statistics gathered by State agencies.

The report also asks the UN Committee to urge the Irish government to enact the Victims of Crime Bill and the Domestic Violence Bill without delay, noting that both are urgently required to protect very vulnerable groups.

Ireland’s examination by the UN’s expert Committee against Torture, Cruel Inhuman and Degrading Treatment will take place at the UN Headquarters in Geneva on Thursday and Friday of this week. The government delegation will be led by Mr David Stanton, TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration.

/Ends

Spokesperson: Noeline Blackwell CEO 

  1. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a non-governmental, voluntary organisation which has as its mission to prevent the harm and heal the trauma of rape and sexual violence – The National 24-Hour Helpline number 1800 77 88 88.
  2. The full text of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s submission to the UN Committee Against Torture is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/2jhW92h
  3. Ireland ratified the UN Convention against Torture, Cruel Inhuman and Degrading Treatment in 2002 and is obliged to report periodically to the UN on its compliance with the Convention. The Irish Government delegation will present its second period report and will attend at the UN Committee meeting to discuss its report on Thursday & Friday 27 and 28 July. The UN Committee website is at this link: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Countries.aspx?CountryCode=IRL&Lang=EN

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