Launch of the first national RCNI report on LGBT survivors of sexual violence attending Rape Crisis Centres

This is a key tool for responses, policy and strategies to fight hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Today Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone launched the RCNI statistical report Finding A Safe Place: LGBT survivors of sexual violence and disclosure in Rape Crisis Centres, which highlights vulnerabilities and the need for safe places for LGBT survivors and a safe and open conversation about the issues.

Clíona Saidléar, head of RCNI said, ‘worryingly, LGBT survivors can take up to twice as long to report the crime compared with their straight counterparts. They also rely much more on friends and partners and less on parents and family than straight people do. These two findings suggest the potential isolation and the added difficulties survivors who are also LGBT face in reaching out and seeking support. This and other findings in this report should act as a catalyst for action to policy makers, to service providers and to community leaders to transform responses towards creating greater safety for LGBT survivors.’

RCNI also welcome their partners Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), and Gay Switchboard Ireland in helping to launch this report and bringing forward the learning from this report.

Odhrán Allen, Director of Mental Health at GLEN said, “It is clear there is a lack of awareness of the problem of sexual violence both in the LGBT community and among the general public. This report will underpin efforts by voluntary and statutory providers to support LGBT people who have experienced sexual violence and to promote reporting and help-seeking. A critical next step will be the introduction of hate crime legislation that will protect LGBT people from violence and harassment motivated by homophobia, biphobia and transphobia”.

Adam Shanley, Director of Gay Switchboard Ireland said, “This report is an important effort in focusing attention on the issues that face LGBT people in a post-marriage equality Ireland. Discussion about sexual violence in the community is so far to the margins it is all but invisible. At Gay Switchboard Ireland we want to make talking about sexual violence safe for the LGBT community. The report has prompted us to hold a community discussion with stakeholders across the LGBT spectrum on the topic as an opportunity to start the conversation.”

RCNI concluded, ‘Survivors’ facing multiple disadvantages often remain voiceless as their risks when disclosing may be higher. The unique RCNI collective data system is sometimes their only safe way to be heard and to be counted. RCNI calls on the government to place value on this platform for the silenced and fund it again so that this first LGBT report may not be the last.’

Key findings:

  • In 2013, 88 LGB survivors (4%) of sexual violence attending 15 RCCs for counselling and support identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).
  • Please Note Transgender survivors who were using the services in 2013, weren’t included in the statistical analysis due to the numbers being too low to safely do so. Notwithstanding, this is a report informed by the transgender users of RCC services and pertinent to transgender people and all those concerned with LGBT rights.
  • LGB survivors disclosed higher levels of multiple incidents of sexual violence than heterosexual survivors (26% compared to 15%).
  • GB males disclosed almost twice the levels of rape of heterosexual males (63% compared to 34%)
  • LB female survivors disclosed higher rates of abuse by male and female perpetrators abusing together (10%) than heterosexual females (2%).
  • 47% of LGB survivors waited over ten years to report the abuse compared with 21% of heterosexual survivors who took the same length of time to report.
  • 25% of LGB survivors disclosed first to a friend compared to 12% of straight survivors. 28% disclosed to parents or other family against 39 % of heterosexual survivors.
  • All LB survivors who became pregnant as a result of rape terminated the pregnancy.


homepage – Rape Crisis Network Ireland<><>
Presents all aspects of sexual violence with information for women, men, survivors, and supporters with contact details for all rape crisis centers in Ireland.

  • Gay Switchboard Ireland’s community discussion chaired by Adam Shanley takes place at 6:30 pm in Old Chocolate Factory, 26 Kings Inn St, panellists include, Odhrán Allen (GLEN), Broden Giambrone (TENI) Anne Scully (RCNI), Lynne Cahill (TCD).
  • This report is based on data from 15 rape crisis centres in 2013. Statutory funding was removed from the RCNI Data, Knowledge and Information System through which that data was collated in 2014.
  • 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.
  • Gay Switchboard Ireland is 41 years supporting the community, making it the oldest LGBT+ support service in Ireland. For more information:
  • GLEN, founded in 1988, is a Policy and Strategy focused NGO which aims to deliver ambitious and positive change for LGBT people in Ireland. For more information: