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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Most child victims had more than one sex abuser

Grainne Cunningham

MOST adults who reported being sexually abused as children were abused by more than one person, a new report has revealed.

More than 660 people -- or seven in every 10 -- who attended a rape crisis centre last year had experienced multiple abuse, according to the 2009 annual report of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI).

RCNI director Fiona Neary said she had been "shocked" by the high rate of multiple abuse. However, she added that the statistics had been checked.

The report also revealed that 26.7pc of victims had reported their ordeal to the gardai. But even this relatively low figure is the highest in the history of RCNI statistics.

However, Ms Neary noted that those who experienced abuse in childhood were less likely to report. Four in 10 adult victims report to the gardai, compared with one in five child victims.

UCD professor Diarmuid Ferriter agreed with Ms Neary that 2009 had been a "watershed year", with the publication of the Ryan and Murphy reports.

The author of 'Occasions Of Sin -- Sex and Society In Modern Ireland' cited, as evidence that women who seek justice continue to be vilified, the case of the Listowel sexual assault victim, who had to watch a line of neighbours shaking the hand of the man who had been convicted of the attack.

However, Mr Ferriter said there had also been a positive shift in terms of what people would tolerate.

This, he said, was evidenced by the public outcry at the ranking of young female recruits by male employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Rape Crisis Centre national helpline number is 1800 778 888

Irish Independent

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