Monday 5 December 2016

Waiting list for counselling one of longest we've ever had - charity

Jane O'Faherty

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said the charity had 'one of the longest waiting lists for counselling services we’ve ever had'. Stock photo
Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said the charity had 'one of the longest waiting lists for counselling services we’ve ever had'. Stock photo

A spike in the number of reported sexual assaults last year is unsurprising, according to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

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CSO figures revealed a 15pc rise in recorded sexual assaults in 2015, while, cases of rape went up by 12.6pc during the same period.

Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said the charity had "one of the longest waiting lists for counselling services we've ever had".

Ms Blackwell also said that counsellors at the centre were coming across survivor stories that were "more difficult and complex".

Their stories often involved mental health issues and even addiction, she added.

Ms Blackwell welcomed the figures, which could indicate that more victims are coming forward and reporting assaults and rapes. But she called for more research to fully see how common sexual crimes are in Ireland.

"What we know from these figures is that there is an increase in reported sexual assaults, but we don't know what the actual landscape is," she said.

"There has been no thorough survey of the crime - the last report was in 2002.

"We can't know if it's getting better and more people are reporting, or if it's getting quantitatively worse. The baseline is too out of date."

Irish Independent

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