The RCNI alongside SafeIreland signed a contract with the HSE on May 31st 2012 ending a period of protracted uncertainty for the organisation.
This is the joint statement from all three organisations:
“The H.S.E. Children and Family Service has concluded a service level agreement with the two National Representative bodies for Refuges, Support Services and Rape Crisis Centres : SAFE Ireland, and Rape Crisis Network Ireland. This agreement represents a commitment by all three parties to work in close collaboration and partnership in order to provide an integrated and coordinated health sector response to victims of domestic and gender based violence. In practice, our aim is to ensure that all families and individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing such violence will receive a continuum of supports from health and community service providers who will be appropriately trained to respond in an effective and sympathetic manner. Both the H.S.E. , R.C.N.I. and SAFE Ireland welcome the conclusion of this service level agreement as an important stepping stone towards the improvement and development of services in this critical area.”.
The RCNI, along with the Domestic Violence Network SAFE Ireland, have a vital role in building the national capacity of local service providers to deliver best-practice, efficient responses. This is essential within the context of a continually fragmented HSE structure which lacks dedicated expertise in Domestic and Sexual violence responses.
Ineffective action on domestic and sexual violence, which fails to recognise the complexity of the issues involved and which fails to link up across a range of policy areas simultaneously enables the perpetration of domestic and sexual violence. In decision-making during the last month the HSE has clearly demonstrated that, under the guise of ‘value for money’/’reorganisation of funding’ via seeking Expressions of Interest, it is in fact implementing a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to over 50 frontline services with distinctly different functions and service users, it is substituting ineffective, non-fit-for-purpose, tick-box exercises for nationally effective programmes of work, as executed by the two National Networks for over a decade.
Actions which are not fit for purpose undermine responses and leave women and children vulnerable to greater victimization and crime. 54 front-line service providers are in no doubt that these shoddy HSE substitutes risk putting women and children in danger and it is on this basis that they are unacceptable.
- Work to prevent sexual violence.
- Raise capacity and standards across service delivery for survivors of sexual violence and their supporters.
- Gives voice to survivors whose experiences of sexual violence are silenced and denied.
- Expertly record and analyse information uniquely available to us and make it public.
- Improve access for survivors to appropriate services to meet changing needs.
- Inform responses to sexual violence.
- Share gold standard capacity with others in Ireland and internationally.
- Lead change on the basis of evidence.
- Work in partnership at local, regional, national and international level, with the public, private, academic and not for profit sectors.
- Model excellence in governance and accountability.
- Hold public sector agencies and government to account and deliver solutions.
- Provide evidence base to support and inform work across 6 government departments and over 100 NGOs.
- Raise funding for and commission groundbreaking research.
- Constantly innovate to harness new opportunities and technologies towards improving survivors’ experience.
- RCNI member centres provide services to more child survivors of sexual violence than any other non governmental agency (72 children accessed services in 2009).
- The RCNI data collection system is now being used in Scotland and is actively being considered in other countries across Europe.
- Through our data we can see that our services are Ireland’s largest NGO providers of specialist counselling for male survivors of sexual violence and male supporters of survivors (206 male survivors and 54 male supporters accessed RCNI member centre counselling in 2009).
- The RCNI is the longest serving continuous member of the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Woman.
- The RCNI drafted the national guidelines on Public Awareness Raising on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
- The RCNI has driven improvement and innovation in Sexual Assault Treatment Unit availability and standards through national committees for almost a decade.
- The RNCI has long been the lead NGO in progressing justice for victims of sexual violence.
- Oh and PS - we’re great value for money!
Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence with a proven capacity in strategic leadership. The RCNI role includes the development and coordination of national projects including expert data collection, supporting Rape Crisis Centres to reach best practice standards, using our expertise to influence national policy and social change. We are the representative, umbrella body for our member Rape Crisis Centres who provide free advice, counselling and support for survivors of sexual abuse in Ireland.