Saturday 21 September 2019

One-third of sex attack victims did not report it

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Stock picture
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

One in three victims who sought help from the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in Dublin last year did not make a report about the alleged incident to gardaí.

The unit, based at the Rotunda Hospital, saw 289 victims during the year, including 17 men and eight children.

While no Garda report was made for about 97 of the victims, 18 opted to store forensic evidence in case they changed their mind.

This service was introduced in recent years and allows the evidence to be stored for a year, the unit's annual report revealed.

While most of the attendees reported the incidents took place between 9pm and 9am, most sought help during daytime hours.

The unit, which is one of six treatment centres across the country, gave emergency contraception to 122 of the 201 women who attended.

All were offered screening for sexually transmitted infections and 184 attended.

Some 23 received post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV and none of these were infected with the virus.

"Such low return rates are not uncommon, both nationally and internationally," the report added.

The report said 214 of the alleged incidents took place in Dublin, while 13 other counties were also involved.

The report pointed out the unit continues to have shortages of nurses, although this eased last year. But it meant it was not always able to provide an out-of-hours service and some patients were sent to Mullingar.

Irish Independent

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