Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release
Tuesday June 9th 2015
Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) as they launch what could be their last National Rape Crisis Statistic Report today call on the government to make a credible commitment to addressing sexual violence.
The RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2014 was launched this morning at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Speakers included Dr Clíona Saidléar (RCNI Director), Elaine Mears (RCNI Data and Services Information Manager), survivor and long standing RCC volunteer and staff member Rosie. This may be the last year the RCNI can present this powerful evidence-base from survivors of sexual violence as Tusla under this government have withdrawn 100% of RCNI’s core funding.
In 2014 this government in a decisive step to address many failings on sexual violence founded a new agency, Tusla: the Child and Family Agency but the RCNI warns against complacency. RCNI Director, Dr. Clíona Saidléar said, “Tusla’s capacity and remit addresses critical gaps and past failings in the State’s response to the crime of sexual violence and meeting survivors’ needs, in particular the child survivor. We continue to support them in that endeavour. However, by itself Tusla can never get the job of addressing sexual violence done. Tusla alone does not fulfil the State’s responsibility on sexual violence.
Ms Saidléar continued, “We estimate that only 20% of survivors will reach out to specialist services funded by Tusla. That means 80% do not and will not have their needs met by Tusla’s activities even at full capacity. If the totality of this State’s response to survivors is to provide services to only 20%, then the State’s response is manifestly insufficient. It is vital this government move beyond an understanding that its duty has been fulfilled in the handing over of its responsibility to the Statutory Agency, Tusla.
As long as there is insufficient capacity and fragmentary approaches to the prevention of sexual violence this government will fail to meet its obligations to victims of sexual violence under the EU Victims’ Directive. We call on government to take up its role on the issue of sexual violence; the continuation of the status quo of high levels of sexual violence without a credible challenge is simply not an option for any legitimate government.”
RCNI Data and Services Information Manager, Elaine Mears said, “64% of survivors coming to the 14 Rape Crisis Centres in this RCNI report did not report to the Gardaí. The many experiences of survivors that build this evidence-base for change are only recorded here in the RCNI data system and are visible to the State in no other way. This report using RCNI’s unique, best in class Data and Knowledge Collection System is critical to understanding sexual violence and gives a strong voice to survivors who are otherwise not engaging with the State but who engage with the independent Rape Crisis Centres and who benefit from the work done by centres in their communities.
Ms Mears continued, “Through the independent RCNI data, knowledge and information system and our programme of analysis and research, survivors can inform legislation, policies and practices nationally regarding sexual violence. We now have a highly developed and internationally recognised data collection system which continues to give a powerful voice to survivor stories. We call on government to fund the system as a matter of urgency as this system which cannot be replicated by the State, is currently at risk.
Key Findings of the Report
Some the key findings of the report are presented below. This information refers to the 14 Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland who entered information into the Data, Knowledge and Information System.
· 93% of perpetrators were known to the survivor
· 15% of perpetrators were under 18
· 50% of perpetrators were between the age of 20 – 39
· 52% of survivors aged 13 to 17 were subjected to rape
Counselling and Support
· 18,296 Helplines contacts were made
· Of the helpline calls to RCCs, 30% were made by the public & numerous agencies seeking information
· 1,913 people took up counselling and support
· 340 people were accompanied
· 17,288 appointments for counselling and support
· 33% of survivors reported the sexual violence to the police
· 48% of survivors of adult sexual violence reported the sexual violence to a formal authority
· 67% of survivors who reported to the Gardaí felt that the Gardaí treated them in sensitive manner
· 60% of survivors who reported to Gardaí said the Gardaí maintained on-going contact with them throughout
· 80% of survivors who reported to the Gardaí did not have any difficulty getting information about her/his case from the Gardaí at any stage of the investigation
· Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence.
· The RCNI National Rape Crisis Statistics 2014 report can be downloaded in its entirety on www.rcni.ie from 10am on Tuesday, June 9th 2015.