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Sunday 17 December 2017

Child abuse accounts for half rape helpline calls reporters

OVER half of all callers to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) helpline were abused as children, a new report reveals.

This is a 30pc increase over the past eight years.

The counselling service received over 9,000 calls in 2010, and 52pc related to experience of child abuse.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, the chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said the increase could be attributed to the publication in the last few years of the Murphy and Ryan reports which exposed clerical child sex abuse.

"This tells a very disturbing story about our present Irish society," Ms O'Malley-Dunlop said.

"Many of the rapes and sexual assaults perpetrated on both men and women are accompanied by additional types of violence including physical violence, intimidation and psychological abuse."

In total, the DRCC handled 11,618 calls last year. There were 3,382 calls from first-time callers.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said she was still awaiting a detailed response from the Vatican over the revelations in the Cloyne report.

She also said the wording for the long-awaited Children First referendum would be available in the autumn, and the referendum would be held next year.

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