Information on sexual violence

In this section you will find information about sexual violence in Ireland, including definitions, prevalence and disclosure. 

Please remember that free, confidential and non-judgmental support is there 24/7 for anyone affected by sexual violence, including family and friends of victims and survivors, on the National Helpline at 1800 778888.

This section is divided into a number of different pages:

What is sexual violence?

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre defines sexual violence as any kind of unwanted sexual activity or contact, whether physical or non-physical. This includes words or actions of a sexual nature forced upon a person without their consent.

In Ireland, many types of sexual violence are defined in criminal law as sexual offences, such as rape, sexual assault or harmful communications including non-consensual sexual image sharing, and have specific penalties attached to them. Sexual harassment in the workplace is covered by employment law. However not all forms of sexually violent behaviours or acts are specifically criminalised or prohibited by law. Even if something is outlawed, it may still be harmful and negatively impact those affected. A central component of any sexually violent act is the absence of consent.

Where is the data from?

The data reproduced here is drawn from a number of sources. The main one is the Central Statistics Office's recent Sexual Violence Survey, conducted in 2022 and published in 2023. We also include data from:

We welcome any constructive comments or suggestions on the data presented and hope you will find it useful in understanding the scope and impact of sexual violence in Ireland.

We provide this data for information purposes only.

DRCC is not responsible for the data reproduced here which originates from other organisations and which we present to highlight the issue of sexual violence in Ireland. You can contact the individual organisations as indicated with any questions on specific pieces of information.