Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence

A guide to options and supports after rape, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence in Ireland

It can be hard to know where to turn to for trusted information and support after experiencing sexual violence. This online guide aims to support anyone affected on this difficult journey with information on accessing a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, reporting to the Gardaí, and navigating the courts and legal process.

The guide is trauma-informed, with a focus on understanding how these processes may make you feel and how to seek support following sexual violence. There is also a section for supporters with information on how best to support someone who has experienced sexual violence.

Interspersed throughout the guide is diverse range of personal experiences or testimonies which victims and survivors have shared with us. We have also included testimonials from staff and volunteers in the health and justice systems.

Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence is for anyone in Ireland affected by sexual violence, including victims and survivors, their supporters and others engaged in these systems.

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Look after yourself

What you do next is your choice. You can come back to the guide at any time.

Before viewing, you might like to take some time to centre yourself. Or, while viewing the guide, you might feel you need to take a break. We have put together some short grounding exercises to help you.

You can contact the freephone 24-Hour National Helpline at 1800 77 8888, at any time of day or night. We offer a free and confidential listening and support service for anyone who has been affected by sexual violence.

Click the icons below to enter the guide

We recommend you start with Overview: Understanding sexual violence, but how you navigate the guide is up to you.

Overview: Understanding sexual violence

Getting treatment after a recent rape or sexual assault

Reporting sexual violence

Going to court

After court and sentencing


If you have any feedback or suggestions for our guide, please submit them using the form below.


This guide is for information only – it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) accepts no responsibility for any actions undertaken because of the information provided in these guides, or for the content of any external information sources it mentions, for example, other organisations or websites that may be signposted. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, DRCC does not accept legal responsibility for any errors, however caused.


Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence © DRCC 2023

You are free to copy, distribute or display this publication under the following conditions:

  • You must attribute the work to DRCC;
  • You may not use this report for commercial purposes;
  • You may not alter, transform or build upon this report.

For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this publication. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from DRCC.

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Guide last updated: March 2023