Sex attack reports increase significantly in Cork

Sex attack reports increase significantly in Cork

Mary Crilly of the Sexual Violence Centre said they need additional funding to recruit more full-time counsellors to deal with demand that is increasing year on year. Pic; Larry Cummins

THE Sexual Violence Centre in Cork has highlighted an “unprecedented increase” in complaints of rape and sexual assault in their annual report.

The report, which was released today, shows a total of 413 people presented at the centre throughout last year, an increase of 103 individuals compared to the year previous.

The surge of clients has resulted in increased waiting times for services and head of the centre, Mary Crilly, is now calling for Minister Katherine Zappone to revisit funding allocations. Ms Crilly said the centre needs additional funding to recruit more full-time counsellors to deal with demand that is increasing year on year.

“This isn’t a once off. I can see it from this year’s figures. So far, we have had 360 clients, so the numbers are increasing and we have only one full-time counsellor.”

Of the 413 that sought assistance last year, 343 presented for the first time compared to 248 the previous year.

The increase was due to people becoming more comfortable in reporting rape and sexual assault and heightened awareness of the issue, Ms Crilly said. Of the reported assaults and rapes, 29% occurred at the person’s own home.

It revealed that 1% of assaults occurred in a public bathroom, with another 1% taking place in a medical setting and a further 1% happening in a taxi.

The report also breaks down the nationality of the perpetrators with 81% being identified as Irish, 10% European and 4% African.

The centre experienced an increased number of callouts to the Sexual Assault Treatment Centre (SATU) with 137 attendances this year compared to 92 last year. As well as this, the telephone helpline received 2,001 calls and 1,466 messages, a total of 3,467 contacts and 16 individuals were accompanied to court.

Another 167 professionals, such as GP’s, Gardai or Social Workers, who encountered victims of sexual violence through their work also received information and support from the centre.

The report found:

  • 91% of new clients seeking help from the centre were female and 9% were male.
  • Of the reports from new clients, 30% were multiple incidences and 70% were single incidents.
  • Of these clients, 35% were students, 19% were in full-time employment and 16% were in part-time employment.
  • 68% of victims were from Cork city, 9% were from North Cork, 6% were from East Cork and 8% were from West Cork. 4% were from Kerry.
  • 50% of incidents of rape or assault occurred to individuals between the age of 18-23 and 60% of incidents were adult assault/rape.
  • Adult survivors of child sexual abuse accounted for 27% of reports and 14% were 14 to 18-year-olds.
  • Sex trafficking and domestic violence accounted for 1% each.
  • 29% of assaults occurred at their home, 21% occurred outdoors and 22% occurred at a perpetrator home.
  • 7% was at a friend’s home, 5% was on holidays, 4% in a car and 3% at a festival.
  • 2% of assaults occurred at work, hotel, and in a church separately.

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