| 21.3°C Dublin

Massive surge in calls to rape crisis helpline


THE Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has reported an 18pc surge in first time callers to its 24 hour national helpline last year.

Its annual report for 2011 reveals the centre received just over 9,000 calls from victims of abuse or rape, while 48pc of calls related to childhood sexual abuse.

Some 3,900 were from first time callers, an increase of 18pc compared with 3,282 first-time calls in 2010.

CEO of the DRCC, Ellen O’ Malley, said: “We believe that a number of factors have contributed to this increase. One is the impact of the publication of the many reports, including Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne.

“Another factor is the positive response from three National Awareness Raising Campaigns and the willingness of Government, through Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence, to support these campaigns.”

A total of 52% of the calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, harassment and trafficking.

Counsellors at the centre also reported a marked increase in contact from non-Irish nationals last year.

While 96pc of callers were of Irish nationality, 4pc of calls were from non-Irish nationals from 42 different nationalities.