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Monday 17 December 2018

CSO to undertake five-year sexual violence survey

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Collins
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Collins
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

The lack of reliable data on sexual violence in Ireland has prompted Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to develop a new major national study, which could take up to five years to complete.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will oversee the development and delivery of a survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in this country, following the outcome of a working group into the subject. Its aim will be to assess the extent of the issue and to inform public policy with regard to prevention and response.

The Savi (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland) report was last done in 2002 and was considered a landmark report which looked at various aspects of sexual violence.

Mr Flanagan said he hopes work on the new Savi report is expected to begin next year and will cost around €1m.

"The CSO has now been charged with undertaking this work, the first stage of which will involve the CSO scoping a means of collecting this sensitive personal data in a manner which is confidential, ethical and designed to support accurate and reliable survey results," said Padraig Dalton, director general of the CSO.

Mr Dalton added that conducting this type of highly sensitive survey will be a "challenging departure" for the CSO. "In order for the data to be robust, very explicit questions regarding behaviours associated with sexual violence may have to be asked of a number of respondents.

"As a result, the design and implementation of this survey will require specialist expertise and training," he said.

He added that given the complexity and sensitivity of the survey, it is envisaged that the entire process may take five years to complete.

Irish Independent

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