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Women's groups call for action over rape comments

The chief executive of the National Women's Council of Ireland, Susan McKay, called on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to act immediately against a number officers accused of making jokes about rape.

"Joking about raping women is never funny," she said.

"These officers displayed levels of sexism and stupidity that are extremely worrying in a 21st century police force.

"Women need to be reassured that if they are raped or sexually assaulted they can report it to gardai who understand that these are deeply traumatic experiences. They must not be left wondering if their distress will be a source of amusement."

Leading sex abuse support group One in Four said it was astonished to hear gardai appear to totally abuse their power.

Executive director Maeve Lewis said: "Gardai have spent years trying to change the culture relating to sexual violence in the force, and nowadays most victims of sexual crime have a positive experience when reporting to the gardai.

"However, the terrifying comments made to the arrested women make us question how much that culture has really changed, and will certainly undermine the confidence of victims in reporting crime."

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