Belfast Telegraph

Rape and child abuse 'are endemic'

Rape and child sexual abuse are endemic in Ireland and are not going away, campaigners have warned.

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) fears fewer victims will be able to bring sex attackers to court if funding for vital services is cut in the upcoming Budget.

The agency's annual statistics for 2009 showed almost nine out of 10 survivors knew their attacker.

Fiona Neary, RCNI director, said: "Hundreds and hundreds of men women and children contact rape crisis centres every year for support.

"Sexual violence is common in Ireland; it's endemic, and it's not going away.

"Some of our figures are quite shocking. Even we were surprised to see 69% of those abused as children were abused by more than one person.

"Most are seeking help for abuse that happened in their childhood, by someone in their family, and that abuse is still affecting their daily lives."

RCNI said counselling and support was given to 1,588 people who attended 13 rape crisis centres around the country in 2009.

Almost 12,400 calls were made to its helpline and 158 victims were accompanied to sexual assault treatment units, medical examinations or court.

Six out of 10 had been abused as children and 30% raped as adults. One in 10 women revealed they were abused both in childhood and as an adult.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph