As the country starts to reopen, Survivor support remains our priority

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release 9th June 2020

As the country starts to reopen, Survivor support remains our priority

In recent weeks it has become clear to Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) that for many survivors, trauma is resurfacing and that they may also feel reluctant to prioritise themselves while so much else is going on. RCNI wish to send out the clear message to survivors that their wellbeing and mental health is our priority; Rape Crisis Centres around the country are providing a safe online space to support survivors.

Clíona Saidléar, RCNI’s Executive Director said:

“Over the past few months we were hearing from survivors about the additional strain for them of stay-at-home and ‘Hold Firm’. Now that we are opening up again we want to reiterate that supporting survivors early and when they need it is our priority. While we are all in this together, many are experiencing social distancing not just as part of the community pulling together but as survivors of sexual violence. Many survivors were already isolated by secrecy before we isolated socially.

We know that survivors are resourceful and often find innovative coping strategies but we also know that Hold Firm conditions may have challenged those strategies. Nationwide Rape Crisis Centres remain available to anybody who needs them. This includes access to experienced and specialist rape crisis counsellors via telephone and online.’

While, like most charities, the pandemic has strained our resources RCCs have adapted to ensure we continue to be available. RCNI welcome that these services have been prioritised by government and Tusla to help ensure we have the capacity to meet the needs of survivors at this time. We continue to be grateful for the generosity of the public in supporting their local centres so that they can continue to support survivors. This support remains essential.

Rape Crisis Centres’ Services are here to help. Contact your local Rape Crisis Centre by phone or email. Find your local centre here or you can call the 24 Hour Helpline on 1800 778888.