Monday 12 November 2018

'Predators watch out for young girls' - three students report rape in first two weeks of college term in Cork

  • At least three female students reported rape during first two weeks of college in Cork - head of Cork's Sexual Violence Centre
  • Figures shared at the Cork Joint Policing Committee
  • 'It is (awful) but I don’t think it’s unusual... we see this every year'
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Rachel Farrell

At least three female students reported rape during the first two weeks of college, the head of Cork's Sexual Violence Centre said.

Mary Crilly shared the figures at the Cork Joint Policing Committee (JPC) yesterday - and said while the statistics are "awful", it is something the centre sees every year.

She told of how "predators watch out for young girls" each September.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland, Ms Crilly said this is "the other side of freshers' week".

"It is (awful) but I don’t think it’s unusual," Ms Crilly said on air.

"This is the other side of freshers, we see it nearly every year. Unfortunately, it can happen in the accommodation they’re staying in, very few of them are on the street.

"It could be somewhere where they feel very safe."

Ms Crilly added that female students often feel they are to blame.

"They’re predators that watch out for these young girls, and these girls sometimes feel responsible because they drank or maybe they feel they were giving the wrong messages," she continued.

"They’re either saying nothing and they’ve dropped out, or we’ll come across more in the next few months that say this has happened to them.

"Predators are out there looking for them, it’s horrible. It’s a horrible way to think about life.

"These young people are going in, thinking about the future, the course they’re doing, the excitement of being out of home and feeling really grown up."

Ms Crilly said that three students presented themselves to the Cork SVC in the last few weeks but that the incidents were not reported to the gardaí.

Speaking at yesterday’s JPC meeting, Ms Crilly called for more staff and resources for the city’s Protective Services Unit, the Irish Examiner reported this morning.

"For a city the size of Cork, to have six people in its unit is ridiculous, it needs more resources," she said.

"It should have at least 20 gardaí involved given that it has to deal with domestic violence and human trafficking as well."

Ms Crilly was responding to figures shared at the JPC that showed a 52pc increase in the number of reported incidents of rape of a male or female in the Cork City garda division between January and August this year compared to the same period last year.

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s National 24-hour Helpline on 1800 77 8888, or see their website on http://www.drcc.ie/

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