Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Inability to discuss sex ‘a key factor in rape cases’

Emma Jane Hade

Published 28/01/2014 | 00:51

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Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director. Picture: Martin Maher
Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director. Picture: Martin Maher

YOUNG people's inability to discuss sex is one of the key factors of rape, according to a report by the Rape Crisis Network (RCNI).

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It found that the lack of education about sexual consent and the Irish binge-drinking culture remain as key factors in sexual violence among young people.

Fiona Neary, executive director of the RCNI, has called upon the Government for immediate intervention and said that without their action, “rapes that can be prevented will continue to occur”.

“The findings are so shocking that the Government must immediately take action to prevent further sexual violence.

“The research is relentless in demonstrating young people's inability to talk about sex, never mind negotiate consent,” she said.

The report carried out by researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway found that alcohol was involved in the majority of “sexual hook-ups” among young people.

But drinking culture meant the reporting of sexual crimes to the appropriate authorities was “rarely seen as an option”.

The report, ‘Young People, Alcohol and Sex', recommends youth engagement strategies which will “encourage the knowledge and skills required for applying the understanding of consent to a range of relationships and types of sexual activity”.

Harm

The findings also recommended that a better understanding of alcohol as a source of risk and harm should be promoted. It wants to improve knowledge and attitudes in reporting sexual assault.

“Decreasing sexual violence is possible, and our strategy document shows the way,” Ms Neary said.

“This will only happen, however, with sustained resources and actions, in combination across government agencies.”

The report is set to be launched by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald this morning, and will be available on the RCNI website.

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