Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Young people are really lost when it comes to consent' - Rape Crisis Centre sees 24pc increase in calls

Concerned: Noeline Blackwell
Concerned: Noeline Blackwell
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Over 13,300 contacts for help were made to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre last year - including 12,400 calls to the National 24-Hour Helpline.

This showed a 24pc increase in calls to the centre since 2015.

Around 30pc of the contacts came from those aged 29 and under, CEO Noeline Blackwell said, highlighting the need for education about rape.

“A youth worker quoted in our report says that young people are really lost when it comes to consent. Our therapists see the same thing.”

“As a society, we must be stronger in our intolerance of non-consensual behaviour. We must build a wide-ranging understanding that non-consensual sex is always rape.”

Approximately half of those calls were from people who were contacting the centre for the first time.

Angela McCarthy, Head of Clinical Services said: “Compared with 2015, 2016 showed a striking increase in the number of callers and clients who had experienced recent rape and sexual assault. There was a 24pc increase in our calls, while half of the new clients that we saw in 2016 had experienced recent rape or sexual assault.”

Of the 12,388 National 24-Hour Helpline contacts received,  77pc were from females, 22.5pc were from males, and 0.5% were transgender.

Ahead of launching the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Annual Report for 2016 today, Minister Charlie Flanagan said that he was “delighted to launch this report, which shows the valuable work done by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, providing services and expertise that feed into the Government’s Second National Strategy against Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.” The Minister added: “It is important that government and non-governmental organisations work together to eliminate the tolerance of sexual violence in our society.”

If you have been affected by the content of this article, the National 24-hour helpline can be reached on 1800 77 88 88.

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