Ireland: Two New Reports Examine the Work of Rape Crisis Centers and Set Guidelines for Supporting Rape Victims
Monday, January 10, 2011 12:20 PM

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI), an information center on sexual violence and the representative body for Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland, recently released two important publications on sexual violence. The first publication examines the work done by Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) and the needs of victims who use their services. The second publication provides guidelines to police, medical staff, and forensic examiners for supporting victims of rape and sexual assault.

The first report, 2009 National Rape Crisis Statistics, was published on November 16, 2010 and attempts to give a voice to all the women, men, and children who used the RCCs' services in 2009. Among the services RCCs provide are counseling victims; accompanying victims to An Garda Siochana (Ireland’s national police), to court, and to medical and forensic facilities; and assisting victims through the helpline. In addition, RCCs provide education and training to police, health services, community workers, minority groups, and students. The report notes that in 2009 RCCs counseled 1,588 people and provided almost 16,550 hours of support.

The second edition of Recent Rape/ Sexual Assault: National Guidelines on Referral and Forensic Clinical Examination in Ireland was published on December 7, 2010. This guide provides steps for An Garda Siochana to follow when they receive a complaint about rape or sexual assault, outlines the procedure for collecting forensic evidence for legal cases, provides guidelines for referring victims to immediate or long-term support such as medical and psychological care, and offers information on preventative care for sexually transmitted infections. The guide was compiled with collaboration from An Garda Siochana, Rape Crisis Network Ireland, medical staff, and forensic scientists. The guide notes the interagency nature of sexual violence and the need for clearly defined referral pathways to exist across organizations.

Compiled from: 2009 National Rape Crisis Statistics, Rape Crisis Network Ireland, (16 November 2010); Recent Rape/Sexual Assault: National Guidelines on Referral and Forensic Clinical Examination in Ireland (2nd edition), National SATU Guidelines Development Group, (7 December 2010).