RCNI Press Release 24th August 2009
RCNI WELCOME OPENING OF NEW SEXUAL ASSAULT TREATMENT UNIT (SATU) IN THE WEST
Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) today welcomes the opening of the long awaited Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) in Galway.
Fiona Neary, RCNI Director said, ‘this service will make an immediate difference to victims and the opening of the SATU in Galway is enormously welcome. The absence of a SATU in the West has been a source of additional distress and trauma to victims from this region. We know that victims have chosen not to report because forensic examinations were not available – even during the weeks prior to the opening of the new service. With the right supports, victims are more likely to report and more likely to stay with the legal process. RCCs throughout Ireland provide expert support to those attending SATU.
‘The RCNI has been working since 2004 to bring about adequate SATU services in Ireland. The sustained pressure and attention given to this issue by the public, the media and local politicians in Galway was essential in bringing this about. The Galway Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC) has spent 7 years fighting for this service. We commend them in particular.’
The Galway SATU is on call 24 hours a day to meet the immediate needs of victims of crimes of sexual violence. It can be accessed either through contacting the Gardaí or the Galway RCC 1800 355355.
The SATU services are developed in partnership between the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform, the Department of Health and Children, the HSE, an Garda Síochána, the RCNI and the local Rape Crisis Centre in this instance the Galway Rape Crisis Centre. It is run by the HSE.
• The RCNI is the national Rape Crisis Sector body, which provides a voice for survivors and is a catalyst for social change towards a society free from abuse.
• Other SATUs in Ireland are located in the Rotunda in Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Mullingar and Letterkenny. A sexual assault treatment service also exists in Limerick.
• Last year approximately 300 people attended the Dublin SATU, 75 the Waterford SATU and since its opening earlier this year the Mullingar/midlands centre has averaged 1 victim per week.
For information contact:
Clíona Saidléar: 087 2196447