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51% of rapes committed by strangers
[Posted: Wed 15/07/2009 by Joanne McCarthy www.irishhealth.com]
More than half of all rapes and sexual assaults are committed by someone unknown to the victim, according to the annual report of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC).
The DRCC has seen a 14% increase in the number of people raped or sexually assaulted by a stranger in the last five years, its annual report has revealed.
In addition, the DRCC has reported a 20% increase in the number of clients attending for child sexual abuse in the five-year period since 2003.
Almost two in five clients reported physical violence, psychological abuse and intimidation in addition to the rape or sexual assault.
The annual report also revealed that the DRCC’s national 24-hour helpline dealt with 12,741 calls. However, just 9,487 of these were genuine. Almost three quarters of calls were from Dublin.
Some 86% of the calls were from females, with the remaining 14% coming from males. Calls were almost equally divided between childhood sexual abuse and adult rape.
Meanwhile, 580 clients were seen for crisis counselling and psychotherapy in both private and group sessions.
The report shows a low level of reporting to the Gardaí. Of the 329 cases where the reporting status is known, just 92 were reported to the Gardaí, a reporting rate of 28%. Only 37% of total rape and sexual assault cases and 12% of the total childhood sexual abuse cases were reported.
“Over the past number of years we have observed an increase in sexual violence. This year we are highlighting a worrying increase in rape by strangers - now 51% of all rapes experienced by our clients,” said Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, chief executive of the DRCC.
“In addition we are concerned by a disturbing trend in the levels of physical violence, intimidation and psychological violence accompanying sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse,” Ms O’Malley Dunlop added.
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