Calls to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre highest since 2009

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said that it took more than 12,000 calls in 2013, the highest figure since 2009.

Releasing its annual report today, the DRRC said most cases of rape and other sex crimes reported in 2013 were carried out by somebody known to the victim.

The report revealed:

- 12,192 contacts were handled by the DRCC’s National 24-Hour Helpline last yeaer.

- 9,614 were genuine counselling contacts.

- 3,928 calls were first time contacts, representing 41% of total genuine contacts.

- 4,955 repeat contacts were received, an increase of 7% on 2012.

- 78% of callers were female and 22% of callers were male.

- 43% of calls related to adult rape, an increase of 3% compared with 2012 figures.

- 9% of calls related to adult sexual assault, an increase of 21% compared with 2012 figures.

- 53% of calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and trafficking.

- 47% of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse.

- 72% of callers were from the Dublin areas, while 28% were from 12 other counties.

- 96% of callers were of Irish nationality, 4% of calls were of other nationalities.

- 231 victims of rape and sexual assault were accompanied by DRCC’ s trained volunteers to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital

CEO Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop says a wide range of people asked for their help.

"We have practically 50/50 callers who are victims of recent rape and sexual assault and victims of childhood sexual abuse," she said.

"We see people from 16 up to 80".

"Sometimes people come for a few sessions, but they might come back at another time when their memory is further triggered, and they may need further support," she added.

Ms O'Malley-Dunlop also said that almost a quarter of calls to the centre last year were made by men - but less than half of the male victims who came forward availed of the centre's counseling services.

Nonetheless, she says it's encouraging that men are picking up the phone.

"Men who are victims of rape and sexual assault seem to find it much more difficult to come forward,"

Ms O'Malley-Dunlop said.

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