Today’s Sexual Violence Garda Crime Statistics release from the Central Statistics Office are a significant improvement on previous releases and tells us so much more than previously.
These statistics give us a breakdown of victims by gender, age and time between sexual violence incidents and reporting.
For the first time we can see how sexual violence impacts in very gendered ways in our official crime statistics. This is a very significant step forward.
· Women accounted for 82% of all victims of reported sexual offences.
Recent incidents (within last year):
· 63% of all reports were reporting recent incidents in the past year.
· Women accounted for 89% of all victims of recent incidents.
· 58% of recent incidents for males related to child sexual violence.
Historic incidents (more than 1 year ago)
· A quarter of sexual offences reports date back from over 10 years ago.
· For historic incidents 83% related to offences against children (Under 18).
· Men were the victims in 31% of historic cases.
Clíona Saidléar, RCNI executive Director said, ‘RCNI strongly welcome that the official crime statistics for the first time lets us talk about gender in sexual violence victimisation. As sexual violence is highly gendered, with women and children being the majority of the victims and males accounting for the majority of perpetrators, it is vital we understand this if we are to work on successfully preventing sexual violence.
‘We can also now for the first time distinguish the current crimes from the crimes committed in the past and the length of the interval between the crime occurring and it being reported. This is vital, as sexual violence is different to most crimes in how and when people come forward and report. A quarter of sexual violence crime reported last year dates back to incidents more than 10 years ago, in contrast, for assaults and related offences, less than 1% relate to incidents more than a year old.
‘It is less than a year ago that RCNI and One in Four recommended these changes to the statistics and we are delighted that they have been made available this quickly. RCNI very much welcome the professional and thorough standard the CSO is bringing to the crime statistics and the work of An Garda Síochána to improve their data gathering dramatically.
‘These progressive commitments to data, evidence and transparency is a key indication that the government is moving to follow up its expressions of sympathy and outrage with a clear demonstration of their serious intent to address this deep rooted issue in a concerted and sustained manner.’
‘RCNI look forward to further developments in this vital area of making the facts about sexual violence visible.’
· Link to CSO crime stats release https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rcv/recordedcrimevictims2018/