• By Maria

Let your hair down and not your guard

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) urges parents and the Class of 2012 to read the Staying Safe Tips before the celebrations begin. Since 2008 when the Staying Safe tips were first published there has been a steady decrease in the numbers of victims accompanied by DRCC to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital in the month of August from 40 in 2008 to 28 in 2011. Hopefully there will be a further decrease in 2012.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC, said:  “The weeks of waiting and anticipation will come to an end for the Leaving Certificate Students of 2012 when the results of the exams will be sent to the many secondary schools around the country this week.  We know there will be lots of celebrations and some disappointments, but hopefully not too many of the latter.

We also know that the celebrations can leave some young people, as a result of drinking too much alcohol, vulnerable to the predators who will take advantage of them physically and sexually.

We urge parents, teachers, communities and the class of 2012 to take a few minutes to read the Staying Safe Tips devised in consultation with young people and many other interested parties.  It is possible to have a great time and to let your hair down but not to let your guard down. To the families, friends and the Class of 2012 we say, enjoy and remember the Leaving Cert. results celebrations.”

 Staying Safe Tips 

*Look out for each other
*Do not get separated from your group
*Do not drink to excess and keep your drink in your hand at all times
*Do not accept a drink from someone you have just met
*Ask a friend to mind your drink if you have to leave
*Stay in popular places and do not go to remote places
*Nominate a Designated Minder for each group of 6 (in the same way as Designated Drivers are used).
*Share taxis and lifts
*If you have to travel alone make sure you phone ahead to where you are going and in the hearing of the driver give your estimated  time of arrival.
*Make sure your mobile is charged at all times
*Be aware that having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent constitutes rape.
*The age of consent in Ireland is 17 years
*Key the National 24 hour helpline 1 800 77 88 88* into your phone
*Report any crime to the Gardai (if you wish) and seek medical help

*If you need any help or are unsure of what to do, call  the National 24 hour Helpline 1 800 77 88 88 where you will get support and guidance from a trained person


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