Central Statistics Office shows that majority of victims of sexual offences knew their suspected offender

30 April 2024


The statistics published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (April 30th) show that most suspected offenders of sexual offences are known to their victims. The figures outline that where a crime has been detected by An Garda Síochána, 7 in 10 victims in 2022 knew the suspected offender. Only 3 in 10 detected offences accounted for cases where the victim and suspect were strangers. 

Chief Executive of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Rachel Morrogh, said: “Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) hopes that the figures released today send a message to anyone who has experienced any form of sexual violence by someone they know, that they are not alone. DRCC crisis counsellors working on the 24-hour National Rape Crisis Helpline (1800 77 88 88) have a wealth of experience in supporting thousands of victims every year and our message is to please reach out to us because we are here to listen and support. 

  “The publication of this data today sits within the wider context of the overall prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland. Last year the CSO reported that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience sexual violence in their lifetime. The data also showed that more than 1 in 2 people would never tell another person about it, and fewer still feel supported to report their experience of sexual violence to An Garda Siochana. Therefore, the statistics on Recorded Crime Victims and Suspected Offenders published today are only part of the picture. 

“In its experience of supporting victims over the past 45 years, DRCC knows there are barriers to making a report to An Garda Síochána. The CSO data published in May 2023 found women were more likely to say that they felt ashamed or embarrassed (34%) as a reason for not disclosing to the Gardaí than men (22%). Women were also more likely to identify that they did not go to the Gardaí as they blamed themselves for what happened (26%) than men (17%). 

“There is considerable work still to do to increase the number of people who report a sexual offence to Gardaí. However, it is encouraging that Divisional Protective Services Units are in place to investigate sexual violence. DRCC is hopeful alongside our work supporting victims, that the DPSUs will build confidence amongst the victim-survivor community and that reporting rates will increase over time. 

We in DRCC urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual violence to contact us, to share their experience with us because we are here to provide support and a safe space for them to do so.” 


Anyone affected by sexual harassment or sexual violence of any form can contact the freephone 24-hour National Helpline for free, confidential support at 1800 778888. 

Comprehensive information on options is also available online at drcc.ie/fyw 



Notes for editors:    

  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. It offers a suite of services to victims/survivors of sexual violence. It also offers a wide range of training and education to professionals and volunteers.   
  1. The Central Statistics Office: Recorded Crime Victims 2023 and Suspected Offenders 2022: https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rcvo/recordedcrimevictims2023andsuspectedoffenders2022/keyfindings/  
  1. Other DRCC services and work:  
  • DRCC operates the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 778888 to support anyone affected by sexual violence in any part of the country. A webchat support service is available online at drcc.ie Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm. A Helpline Interpreting Service is available for those who do not speak English - more at https://bit.ly/DRCClang  
  • For those contacting the Helpline who are deaf or hard of hearing, we provide a text service, operating Mon-Fri from 8am to 6:30pm, at 086-8238443 and we also have a webchat service available Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm, except holidays. 
  • Information on your options after sexual violence is available for free online at any time at www.drcc.ie/fyw in the Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence guide. 
  • DRCC offers counselling & therapy to adult survivors of sexual violence and to older adolescents from 16 years of age with parental/guardian consent. 
  • We provide accompaniment support for the Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, to court or to Garda stations to people in Dublin and in surrounding areas, by arrangement.    
  • We-Consent is a new long-term national programme to inform, educate and engage with all members of our society about consent. More information and resources on having consent conversations at https://www.we-consent.ie/ 
  • We have outreach offices at Coolock, Dóchas Women’s Centre, Balbriggan & Tallaght. Access to these services must be arranged via the National Helpline 1800 778888 during working hours, Mon-Fri.    
  1. We ask that when reporting on this topic, journalists should remember that discussions on sexual violence can trigger personal trauma in those receiving the information. Where possible, please make reference to the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 77 88 88  for anyone who may be affected by the discussion.