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Dublin Rape Crisis Centre


Nearly 1,000 people in Ireland were treated in sexual-assault units in 2018, according to new data. 

This is a shocking increase of almost 10 percent in 2017, which is quite the jump. 20 children under the age of 14-years-old were treated after sexual assaults last year alone.

Ireland has six sexual-assault treatment units, where people may present themselves after an attack.

The sexual-assault treatment units are located in hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Mullingar, Waterford and Letterkenny.

There were 865 presentations at the six units in 2017, but this rose to 941 in 2018 according to the latest details released under the Freedom of Information Act.

In Mullingar Regional Hospital, 203 sex-assault victims were treated in 2018 alone, which is a worrying 17 percent increase.

Noeline Blackwell, the chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, isn't taken aback by the sharp increase across the nation.

"People are more ready to recognise that these are units which are specifically dedicated to dealing with victims of sexual assault," she said.

"You don't have to be referred there by the Gardaí, people don't even have to have an examination for court purposes there if they don't want to but they certainly will get the medical help that they need and a recognition of the trauma of the sexual assault as well."

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre recently called for increased funding to deal with the "epidemic of sexual violence" in the country. In 2018, 13,949 people contacted the organisation.

This means that around 270 people per week contact the 24-hour helpline, with over 13,300 calls every year.

94 percent of people treated in Ireland's six units last year were women, with 6 percent being men.


A survey carried out by Newstalk has released results stating that half of Irish people would not report rape to the Gardaí if they knew it happened to someone else.

Newstalk’s Women in Ireland Survey shows that while eight out of ten people would report a rape if it was committed against them, when it came to somebody else the reports shifted entirely.

Red C conducted the survey for Newstalk in order to examine sexual violence in the country, and it found that women were significantly less likely to report an incident of rape of someone other than themselves. 

Only four out of ten women said they would report an incident, and six out of ten men, meaning that women are more likely to remain quiet about sexual violence occurring to a friend, acquaintance, family member, or even a stranger.

The survey also found that twice as many women as men have experienced gender discrimination, and three quarters of people would report sexual harassment at work.

The Women in Ireland survey enquired about if participants would report other sexual assault incidences such as groping, indecent exposure, sexual harassment at work or non-consensual touching.


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Apparently, three quarters of people would report indecent exposure or sexual harassment while at work, and two thirds of people would give a statement regarding groping to An Garda Síochána.

Regarding discrimination, twice as many women as men said they have experienced prejudicial treatment with younger people.

Interestingly, people who are living in Dublin are evidently more likely to have experienced gender discrimination in their lives.

Overall, the report shows troubling responses from our country, which has had two major rape trial controversies in the last year alone which have shed light on the worrying ways in which our justice system treats sexual assault victims.



“There just aren’t enough hours in the day,” is a phrase we mutter far too often. It feels like we are busier than ever and the pressure to have a lively social life can sometimes take over, resulting in you attending every social event you’re invited to.

Finding the perfect balance is tricky, but it can be worth it and extremely necessary. One thing we should all try to do more of is volunteering.

Volunteering is the perfect way of giving back to those in need. The Me Too movement showed us just how many women suffer from sexual assault on a daily basis. As women we should try to support one another in whatever way we can.

If you’re hoping to volunteer then one very important Irish charity could do with a helping hand. The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre have issued a call for volunteers.

They need people, who are over the age of 25, to help with their 24-hour helpline. They are also looking for people to assist victims on visits to court, Garda stations and hospitals.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre explained that volunteers are extremely valuable to their service. In 2016, their 99 volunteers accompanied over 260 survivors of sexual violence to sexual assault treatment units, to court and Garda stations.

Volunteers will be given extensive training by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre team.

If you want to find out more about volunteering you can call 01 6614911 or email the organisation.

Visit their website for more information on how you can donate and support the hard-working organisation.




The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, which is based on Lower Leeson Street, has made its annual appeal for volunteers.

The organisation, which has been a fixture in the city for almost 40 years, seeks to heal the trauma of rape and other forms of sexual violence through its counselling, accompaniment and referral services.

Receiving approximately 1,000 calls a month to their helpline, the organisation is currently seeking volunteers to train as Telephone Counsellors, who will assist staff with the 24-hour service, as well as Support Personnel who will attend the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

The DRCC has confirmed that their volunteers, who 'come from every walk of life', will be provided with the required training to fulfil the organisation's mission.

"No previous experience or training in this field is required as full training will be given to selected applicants," reads their statement.

Willing candidates, who must be at least 25-years-old and live in the Dublin area, are required to apply by Friday February 16.

You can learn more right here.



The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has criticised the leniency of Tom Humpries' prison sentence, following reports that the convicted child abuser would be jailed for just two-and-a-half years.

The former Irish Times journalist was sentenced this afternoon after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl and grooming her two years.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act between January 2010 and March 2011.

The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of the child between December 5, 2010 and February 19, 2011.

The victim was just 16 years of age when the incidents took place.

Noeline Blackwell, from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said: "We may need to look at sentencing, but certainly just the implementation of sentencing is what's important about this case.

"A view was taken that because the person had had a high position that wasn't anymore, that seemed to be the key that was deciding the length of the sentence, not the level of harm that this man purposely did many, many times to a young girl."

Judge Karen O'Connor, said she based the decision on Humphries' guilty pleas as well as his loss of reputation and livelihood.


According to figures released by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, the number of calls reporting rape increased by a staggering 24 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

The annual report states: "There were 3,579 calls specifically relating to adult rape, an increase of 24 per cent. Both the dramatic increase in number and the disturbing nature of the attacks were noted by helpline staff and volunteers throughout the year."

In 2016, the DRCC received 12,388 calls which is 599 more than the number recorded in the previous year.

Commenting on the newly-released figures, Ann Marie Gill of the DRCC says the recorded cases suggest that social media plays a role in the perpetration of sexual violence.

"We are basing our responses to sexual violence on our clients’ stories that they present to us, what their experience has been, and it is becoming more violent," she said. “We are also aware that social media is having a huge influence on sexual violence."

According to the annual report, the number of calls placed to the centre ultimately resulted in an increased demand for face-to-face counselling.

"Our therapists worked with 495 clients, of which 293 were new to the centre,” the report reads.  “Among new clients, 68 per cent had experienced sexual violence in adulthood while 32 per cent had experienced childhood sexual abuse."

"Of the 198 new clients who were victims of rape or sexual assault, 149 had experienced recent rape or sexual assault, and 49 had experienced past rape/sexual assault."

You can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour helpline on 1800-778888.