Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) attended yesterday to the SPACE international event in Buswells hotel as part of their work towards ending sexual exploitation, support their call for the prompt enactment of Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015.
RCNI is a long standing member of the Turn Off The Red Light (TORL) campaign, whose legislative calls to protect those sexually exploited and to empower the state to address those who do the exploiting are included in the far ranging 2015 Bill.
RCNI continue to call on Tánaiste Fitzgerald to reconsider the lack of a definition of consent in the Bill, a word that has been used in many sections of the Bill but remains undefined. Establishing in law a clear standard of behaviour that distinguishes sexual violence from sexual activity would help prosecutors, juries, witnesses, survivors and their communities.
RCNI also call for the amendment, which victim support organisations collectively called for to section 33 on the disclosure of sensitive and private records in an investigation, to be introduced. At the last reading this vital amendment to protect victims was referred to the Attorney General for advice.
Finally, RCNI strongly urge the Tánaiste not to miss this opportunity to extend the special measures for criminal evidence laid out for children victims of sexual violence, to all vulnerable victims including adults.
- RCNI, founded by Rape Crisis Centres in 1985, is a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence. Rape Crisis Centres provide free advice, counselling and support for all survivors of sexual violence.
- The RCNI believe the introduction of hate crime legislation in Ireland for sexual harassment and sexual bullying would improve protections for women, men and children. RCNI endorses and supports the report of the Hate and Hostility Research Group at the University of Limerick and the growing partnerships calling for this gap in our laws to be addressed.