CALLS to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre's 24 hour helpline increased by almost a quarter as the recession sees a spike in sex abuse.
Launching its annual report in Dublin this morning, chief executive Ellen O'Malley Dunlop said just over 12,000 calls were received by the national helpline last year with 9,142 of these being genuine counselling calls.
"Since the recession there has been a disturbing year on year increase in calls to the national 24 hour helpline from victims of adult sexual violence.
"There has been a 23pc increase in first time callers, between 2009 and 2012," she said.
She said the figures reflect international research which shows that "sexual violence and violence against women in particular, increases in times of economic recession."
Of the callers to the helpline last year, 83pc were women and 17pc men with 44pc of calls relating to adult rape.
Some 45pc of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including suspected abuse.
The DRCC said 36pc of victims it helped had reported the abuse to gardai.