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Junior Cert students urged to stay safe
[Posted: Wed 10/09/2008 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Over 56,000 young people are due to receive their Junior Cert results today. However the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) has warned that over the past few years, it has seen an increase in the number of rapes and sexual assaults around results celebration time.
The centre is urging teenagers to take care and to be vigilant if they are planning to go out and celebrate tonight.
“It is terribly sad to see young people absolutely devastated after experiencing a rape or a sexual assault while celebrating exam results,” said DRCC chief executive, Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop.
The centre has issued a warning to potential perpetrators that having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent, which is 17 years of age, is a crime. Having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent, constitutes rape.
“We urge that these crimes are reported and that the perpetrators are appropriately punished. We would also like to remind all involved that it is a crime to sell alcohol to someone under the age of 18,” the centre said.
It has issued the following tips to young people:
-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 six (in the same way as designated drivers are used).
-Share taxies 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 your mobile is charged at all times.
-Be aware having sexual intercourse with a person without their consent constitutes rape
If an incident does occur, the DRCC advises:
-Report the crime to the Gardai and seek medical help.
-Contact the Rape Crisis Centre’s 24 hour national helpline at 1 800 77 88 88, where you will get support and guidance.
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