RCNI call on government to state its intention to address the challenges of addressing sexual violence

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release

Wednesday 10th June 2015

RCNI call on government to state its intention to address the challenges of addressing sexual violence

Yesterday, the 9th of June RCNI called on government to meet the challenges in addressing sexual violence. The government’s response so far has been dismissive and inadequate. We call on the government to state its intention to address the significant challenges, gaps and deficits in the State’s current response to sexual violence.

Dr Clíona Saidléar RCNI Acting Director said, ‘4 out of 5 survivors of sexual violence are voting with their feet and are not engaging with the justice system or accessing one to one counselling. Therefore, for government to effectively say it is sufficient to be funding direct face-to-face services for 20% of survivors as well as working to improve legislation and the justice process, is not credible. This is not justice.

‘This silent majority must be listened to by this government. We must continue to ask what more needs to be done, in our communities and across the whole of government to respond progressively to sexual violence. The challenge is that the majority of survivors do not engage with the State. RCNI works to ensure their voices do not get lost.

‘Addressing this very serious challenge requires working in partnership with the specialists who can assist government. Instead, at a time when the RCNI and the limited specialist resources available to government are in jeopardy, this government have put their energy into dismissing and attempting to silence and undermine them. Such a response from government, on the removal by Tusla of RCNI core funding, lacks seriousness. Survivors deserve better from this government and we demand better. It is time for concrete measures and investment on the issue.

RCNI Core funding from HSE/Tusla was cut from €292,770 in 2010 to €183,878 in 2014, representing a 37% cut. Before being cut fully in 2015 as of the 31st of March. This funding represents approximately 70% of our statutory funding and the remaining 30% is designated for specific programmes.