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Rape - young urged to be vigilant
[Posted: Mon 18/08/2008 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) is urging young people to be particularly vigilant when it comes to celebrating and going abroad.
According to the centre, over the last number of summers, it has seen an increase in the incidents of young men and women being raped or sexually assaulted while celebrating exam results, attending outdoor summer events or when holidaying together abroad.
“It is terribly sad to see young people absolutely devastated after experiencing a rape or a sexual assault while holidaying with friends abroad, celebrating exam results or attending concerts here in Ireland. The young people we see at the centre are usually under 20 years of age and these experiences are very shocking for everyone involved,” explained DRCC chief executive, Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop.
The centre has issued a warning to potential perpetrators that having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent constitutes rape. It urged anyone who has been a victim of this crime to report it.
The DRCC has devised a ‘Staying Safe’ checklist for young people. There are two parts – part one focuses on prevention, while part two offers advice if a person has been raped or sexually assaulted.
Part 1 – Prevention:
* Look out for each other.
* Do not get separated from your group.
* Keep your drink in your hand at all times.
* Do not accept a drink from someone you have just met.
* Ask a friend to mind your drink if you have to leave.
* Stay in popular places and do not go to remote places.
* Nominate a Designated Minder for each group of 6 (in the same way as Designated Drivers are used).
* Share Taxis and lifts.
* If you have to travel alone make sure you have phoned ahead to where you are going and estimate the time of arrival.
* Make sure you mobile is charged at all times.
* Be aware having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent constitutes rape.
Part 2 – Steps to be taken if an incident occurs:
* Key this number into your mobile phone 1 800 77 88 88 (Rape Crisis Centre helpline).
* Have your mobile phone charged at all times.
* If in Ireland report the crime to the Gardai and seek medical help.
* If abroad have the phone number of the local Irish Embassy or Consulate keyed into your mobile phone.
* Have the local phone number of the travel agency representative keyed into your phone.
* Phone the Embassy or Consulate.
* Phone the local travel agency representative.
* Bring the person to the local hospital.
* Report to police if recommended.
* On returning home make sure all the appropriate tests are taken for pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases etc…
The Rape Crisis Centre’s 24-hour national helpline number is 1800 77 88 88. Calls are free of charge.
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