Friday 24 March 2017

Those helping rape victims need proper funding, not cutbacks

'Denials, myths and cover-ups play a very big part in why these most serious crimes are not eliminated from our society and continue to be committed with impunity'
'Denials, myths and cover-ups play a very big part in why these most serious crimes are not eliminated from our society and continue to be committed with impunity'

Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop

It's 3am. Martina, the trained volunteer from the Rape Crisis Centre who is on duty tonight, is woken up by the telephone ringing. It's the nurse from the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) in the Rotunda Hospital on the line.

A 24-year-old woman will be coming into the unit in 30 minutes. She has been sexually assaulted by her husband. Martina dresses quickly and drives the 15 minutes to the hospital.

She is there five minutes when a garda dressed in plain clothes brings Emer in. Martina greets Emer, who is terribly distressed, and she explains to her the examination procedure. She reassures her that everything will be done at her own pace. She comforts her.

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